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One of the two men accused of poisoning an ex-Russian spy in the United Kingdom is a highly decorated colonel in Russia's military intelligence agency GRU - who was honored by strongman Vladimir Putin in 2014, according to a British investigative group.

May says Britain has set out detailed evidence about the prime suspects in the nerve agent attack on former spy Sergei Skripal and daughter Yulia, while Russian Federation has only sought to "obfuscate".

We speak to "Bellingcat" - one of the anonymous journalists behind the investigation - to find out how this information was revealed and how close they are close to finding the real identity of the second suspect.

To validate the hypothesis that Chepiga is Skripal poisoning suspect "Boshirov", Bellingcat and The Insider obtained extracts from the passport file of Anatoliy Vladimirovich Chepiga - the man born on 5th April 1979 - from two separate sources with access to databases dated prior to 2014.

He and the other suspect in the case, now still known as Alexander Petrov, were captured on CCTV in Salisbury on the day before and the day of the poisoning of the Skripals in March.

Both Skripal and his daughter survived.

Citing a former Russian military officer, Bellingcat said it was very surprising that a highly decorated colonel was sent into the field.

British officials said the two were poisoned with Novichok, a military-grade chemical weapon that was developed in the Soviet Union, and blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin's government for the attack. It said that Chepiga's passport file recorded his service with a Russian military unit that was part of the GRU's special forces.

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Ruslan Boshirov's real identity was claimed to be Colonel Anatoly Chepiga, who served in an elite commando unit and received the decoration of Hero of Russian Federation - the country's highest award - in 2014, according to Bellingcat.

The Skripals were found unconscious on March 4 on a bench in Salisbury.

The Home Office is yet to comment on Bellingcat's reports.

Ms Sturgess died in hospital in July, just over a week after the pair fell ill.

"Russia has only sought to obfuscate through desperate fabrication", she said.

He is thought to have been working undercover for almost a decade, says Bellingcat, which traced his and "Petrov's" movements across Europe over several years.

Earlier this month, Britain accused Russia of "lies and blatant fabrications" after the suspects appeared on Russian television to insist they were visiting Salisbury for its cathedral.


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