Skripal case: FSB in search of whistleblowers

Russia’s special services are trying to find out what way certain documents regarding Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov leaked to the Internet.

The Interior Ministry employees who spilt the beans to journalists and showed them copies of the two alleged agents’ passports are wanted, Rosbalt news agency reports with reference to its anonymous source in Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).

Using the documents published and the data from the Russian Passport System, OSINT platforms Bellingcat and The Insider concluded that Petrov and Boshirov were linked to the Russian special services. They focused on the place where the passports were issued in sequence as well as their numbers which differed only in the last three figures. Interestingly, a similar passport number was given to Eduard Shirokov who also used the surname ‘Shimakov’. The Montenegrin authorities accused the man of inspiring a coup attempt. In the past, he was also a deputy military attaché at the Russian embassy in Warsaw.

When the British authorities revealed that they suspected Boshirov and Petrov of poisoning Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, Vladimir Putin appeared on the scene. He suggested that the two suspects should present their own version to the media. Soon after the president’s ‘advice’, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov denied their having any relation to the Russian special services in the interview with the Kremlin mouthpiece Russia Today. 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.

According to Rosbalt, as it is not the first leaakage from Russia’s classified databases, the FSB took proper measures, but without effect. following

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