Written by Slavko K. exclusively for SouthFront
The “investigation” of Bellingcat and The Insider (a Russian-language pro-Western media outlet) designed to reveal the “real” identities of the Skripal poisoning suspects Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov has already turned into an interesting spy series. The investigation and its “revelations” gained signfiicant attention among the audience of both mainstream and alternative media outlets. However, it seems that it may have had an unexpected impact on its authors. The content released by Belligcat “highly likely” exposed it as a mouthpiece of Western special services.
On October 8 and October 9, Bellingcat and The Insider came with a new speculations on the identity of the Skripal poisoning suspects. Previously, they claimed that Ruslan Boshirov is GRU Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga, who also has with the highest Russian state award – Hero of the Russian Federation.
Now, Bellingcat and The Insider claims that Alexander Petrov is Dr. Alexander Mishkin, a “trained military doctor in the employ of the GRU”. He also allegedly has the highest Russian state award – Hero of the Russian Federation.
- Second Skripal Poisoning Suspect Identified as Dr. Alexander Mishkin
- Full report: Skripal Poisoning Suspect Dr. Alexander Mishkin, Hero of Russia
Bellingcat and The Insider once again provided a lengthy and detailed article full of speculations. In the conclusion, Belligncat stated the following:
“The findings of this investigation by Bellingcat add possibly material context to the mission of the two GRU officers to Salisbury. The inclusion of a trained military doctor on the team implies that the purpose of the mission has been different than information gathering or other routine espionage activities. Bellingcat contacted various sources with knowledge of practices of Russian military intelligence who provided a range of opinions on what the relevance of the presence of a doctor in a foreign-operations team means. While some stated that GRU was known to form multi-functional and multi-skilled teams as part of operational “best practices”, others suggested that a doctor would be a mandatory addition to a team tasked with poisoning a target — either for ensuring effective application of the chemical, or to protect team members from accidental self-poisoning.
The new findings also require a renewed analysis of the travel itinerary of Mishkin across Western Europe in the period 2016-2018, previously disclosed by Bellingcat.”
This artlce as well as all prvious pieces released by Bellingcat are designed to strengthen the British version that the Kremlin is behind the alelged Novichok poisoning of former GRU colonel and double agent for British intelligence Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia.
Nonetheless, the most interesting part is an image of Mishkin’s scanned passport pages. Bellingcat reportedly obtained it “from a source with access to a scanned copy of the passport. The source requested complete anonymity due to safety concerns, and thus Bellingcat cannot share the position or history the source has that has enabled them to have access to this document.”
It should be noted that in its previous articles about Boshirov/Chepiga Belligncat also used documents obtained from undisclosed sources.
On September 26, Belligncat published “extracts from the passport file of Anatoliy Vladimirovich Chepiga”, including “a passport application”.
On September 20, Belligncat released a screenshot of Petrov’s alleged “biographical page”, which contained “Top Secret” annotations.
On September 14, Bellingcat posted a screenshot Petrov’s alleged “passport dossier”, which was makred “with a stamp containing the instruction “Do not provide any information”.
The MSM and Belligcat itself continue to claim that that Bellingcat is an “open-source” investigative website, which has no links to governments and special services. The only problem is that a significant part of the Skripal case “investigation” is data, including documents, which cannot be obtained from “open sources”.
The articles released by Bellingcat The Insider have no answers to the key questions:
- How they obtained the passport scans, screenshots of other documents and extracts from the passport data for their inveistigation?
- If this data was not directly provided to Belligcat and The Insider by some side, how did Belligcat and The Insider established communication channels with persons who have access to this data?
These questions remain open and it’s unlikely that they will be answered anytime soon. Most likely, Bellingcat and The Insider just received this data directly from persons or entities linked to US, British special services or through channels establsihed by US, British special services in Russia. Using these data, Bellingcat destroyed its own image of “open-source” investigation website, which the MSM has created for it in the Western audience over the past few years.