One of the two men accused of carrying out the deadly Salisbury nerve agent attack has had his "real" identity exposed as a highly-decorated GRU colonel named Anatoliy Chepiga, according to an investigative website.
Alexander Petrov, left, and Ruslan Boshirov, charged with the attempted murder of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.
She told the UN Security Council in New York: 'We have taken appropriate action, with our allies, and we will continue to take the necessary steps to ensure our collective security.
On Thursday morning, the revelation that the man named as Ruslan Boshirov and said by the Kremlin to be a civilian is actually a top-level officer in the GRU remained the top of the home page.
From there, the reporters tracked Chepiga to two addresses in Khabarovsk and Moscow, and were also leaked passport data showing photographs that matched Chepiga to Boshirov. "Russia has only sought to obfuscate through desperate fabrication".
He and the other suspect, Alexander Petrov, flew into Gatwick Airport from Moscow on 2 March 2018 and visited Salisbury on two consecutive days, including 4 March, which was the day of the poisoning. The report said that Chepiga was a special forces veteran who had been awarded the country's highest state honor, Hero of the Russian Federation, a decoration that is only awarded personally by president Vladimir Putin.
Salisbury poisoning suspect named as decorated Russian colonel
According to Bellingcat, Chepiga was conferred the Hero of Russian Federation medal, the country's highest medal, by presidential decree in December 2014.
The Home Office said it could neither confirm nor deny the reporting about the suspect's real identity. Speaking on the Russian state-funded RT channel, the duo said they work in the nutritional supplements business.
The Bellingcat and Insider journalists claimed their investigation dispelled the "tourist" story.
United Kingdom authorities believe Chepiga and his accomplice smeared the highly toxic novichok chemical on a door handle at the Wiltshire home of former GRU officer Mr Skripal, leaving him and his daughter critically ill.
The 39-year-old GRU military intelligence service colonel is a married father-of-one.
On September 14, Bellingcat said it had reviewed Russian documents that indicated the two men had no records in the Russian resident database prior to 2009, a sign they may be working as operatives for the government.
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