FSB detains person suspected of selling info about alleged Skripal poisoners

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) detained a suspect of selling information about ‘Alexander Petrov’ and ‘Ruslan Boshirov’ leaving abroad, Rosbalt reports.

According to their source, the person works for the Border Service of the FSB. The man was detained at the workplace.

After the information had leaked to the media, the security service conducted over 60 searches and initiated a number of criminal cases over illegally obtaining and disclosing classified information.

“First of all, they have come for private detectives and those persons who were earlier spotted in the trading information from non-public databases,” the source said.

On March 4, Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious at a shopping mall in the English town of Salisbury. The two were taken to hospital in critical condition. The were reportedly poisoned following exposure to an unknown substance. A bit later, British Prime Minister Theresa May said they had been poisoned with Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia. The incident caused a number of rows and triggered a diplomatic war between the West and the Kremlin.

In early September, British prosecutors said the names of two Russian citizens suspected of poisoning the Skripals were Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

In the interview with Russia Today, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov denied their having any relation to the Russian special services. They claimed they visited Salisbury to see the sights, including the local medieval cathedral. Their clumsy statements and ridiculous explanations have triggered a wave of jokes on the internet. Later, Bellingcat published the results of its journalistic investigation. The OSINT platform states that the real name of Ruslan Boshirov is Anatoly Chepiga. Moreover, Boshirov-Chepiga is a GRU Colonel and Hero of Russia, the journalists say. According to them, ‘Alexander Petrov’ is Alexander Mishkin in real life, he is also a GRU officer.

Later, the British media outlet Telegraph reported with reference to its own sources that a third Russian military intelligence officer who had carried out a reconnaissance mission before the poisoning of Sergei Skripal was identified by counter terrorism police and the security services.

The incident caused a number of rows and triggered a diplomatic war between the West and the Kremlin.