Related materials:

 GRU operatives "directly involved" in takeover of city councils in Ukraine's Donbas region in 2014, - Bellingcat

Bellingcat says Russin GRU military intelligence operatives were directly involved in the takeover of city councils and the fake idea of local defence units.

As reported by Censor.NET citing The Independent, one of Bellingcat investigators, Christo Grozev, held a press conference in the British Parliament after Bellingcat had named the second alleged Skripals' poisoner who arrived in Britain with a passport in the name of Alexander Petrov as Russian military doctor Alexander Yevgenyevich Mishkin.

On Monday, Bellingcat released preliminary details of its investigation after unmasking the first suspect as Anatoliy Chepiga, a military colonel who had been the recipient of Russia’s highest state award.

Mishkin was a military doctor before being recruited by the GRU and moved to Moscow under his cover identity around 2010.

After that extensive travel started, including visits to Ukraine during the peak of the Maidan protests. He was allegedly involved in military operations in Eastern Ukraine in 2014.

Mishkin was also named a "hero of the Russian Federation."

In the period 2011-2018, Alexander Mishkin traveled extensively under his new identity. Bellingcat has identified multiple trips to Ukraine and to the self-declared Transnistrian Republic, the last of which as late as during the Maidan events in Kyiv in December 2013.

Asked by a journalist from the Kyiv Post what they may have been involved with in Eastern Ukraine, Grozev said GRU operatives were "directly involved" in the takeover of city councils and the "fake idea of local defence units."

As reported, Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal, 67, and daughter Yulia Skripal, 34, were hospitalized in critical condition after they were found unconscious on a bench in the Wiltshire city on March 4 but both have recovered after weeks in the hospital. The UK government says they were poisoned with a nerve agent of a type developed by Russia called Novichok and PM Theresa May said she believed Moscow was "culpable."

A couple who authorities said found the perfume bottle after it was discarded by the attackers fared worse: Charlie Rowley recovered after treatment in the hospital but his partner, Dawn Sturgess, 44, died on July 8.

In an interview to the state-funded RT, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, the two Russians charged with perpetrating nerve agent attack in British Salisbury have claimed they were visiting the town's "famous" cathedral as tourists.

Petrov and Boshirov have been charged with attempting to murder of former Russian spy Sergei Skripaland his daughter Yulia in Salisbury in March by spraying Novichok nerve agent on the handle of their door. Scotland Yard have said these names are probably aliases.

A UK government spokesman rubbished the men's claims as "obfuscation and lies", while John Glen, the Conservative MP for Salisbury and South Wiltshire, called the statements "not credible".

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia knew the real identity of two men accused by British prosecutors of trying to murder Skripals and that they were civilians with nothing criminal about them.

Russia adamantly denies involvement in the poisoning, which had added to severe strains in ties between Russia and the West.

Putin's declaration came seven days after British authorities announced that they had charged two Russian men, identified as Aleksandr Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, with carrying out the poisioning on March 4.

They accused the pair of smuggling the Soviet-designed nerve agent Novichok into Britain in a fake perfume flask and smearing some of the substance on the front door of Sergei Skripal's home in the English city of Salisbury, where the former GRU officer settled after being sent to the West in a Cold War-style spy swap in 2010.

Источник: https://censor.net.ua/en/n3090445