Britain’s counter terrorism forces have identified a third Russian military intelligence officer who they believe carried out a reconnaissance mission before the poisoning of double agent Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, according to the Telegraph.
Reports have emerged that an agent, who has yet to be named, is thought to have visited Salisbury to help plan the murder attempt prior to two of his colleagues bringing weapons grade nerve agent Novichock into the UK.
The news comes several days after online investigation website Bellingcat identified one of Skripal’s murder suspects as an undercover officer in the Russian Military Intelligence, widely known as GRU.
The suspect is believed to be Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga, a highly decorated GRU officer bestowed with Russia’s highest state award – Hero of the Russian Federation.
Skripal, a former Russian military intelligence officer, was found unconscious with his daughter Yulia on a public bench in the city of Salisbury on 4 March, and a local woman named Dawn Sturgess died after coming into contact with the nerve agent.
Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement in the poisoning, as have the two men identified by Britain.