Suspect in the Skripal poisoning case, Dr. Alexander Mishkin. Photo: Bellingcat Investigation Team/ Bellingcat.
Mishkin was born in 1979 in Loyga, a small Russian village, and studied at an elite military medical academy before he was recruited by the GRU. By 2010, he was living in Moscow and had received his undercover alias of ‘Alexander Petrov.’ The Petrov identity used a lot of Mishkin’s personal information, such as his birthdate. In addition, Mishkin’s home address was reported as the address of the GRU headquarters for a period of time.
Sergei Skripal, the victim of the poisoning, was a former Russian agent who was spying for Britain. This past March, Britain reported that Skripal and his daughter fell ill from an attack carried out using a nerve agent; however, they have since recovered. Since the nerve agent was one produced in the Cold War era by the Soviets, immediate attention was drawn to Russia.
After information surfaced about Boshirov and Mishkin, they made a television appearance to defend themselves. While on the air, they insisted they had no part in the poisoning, but that they had been in Salisbury to look at the cathedral there.
The attack was not well contained. The nerve agent affected and killed a woman named Dawn Sturgess and also made her partner ill.