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Photos don’t prove novichok suspect is Russian intelligence officer



The Kremlin has dismissed the photos being used to support claims that one of the Russians accused of the Salisbury poisoning is a decorated military officer.

This week investigative website Bellingcat published pictures of a Russian military intelligence colonel it named as Anatoliy Chepiga who looks like one of the accused.

Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, said the likeness between the man and the photos does not prove they are the same person.

He said it was like comparing impersonators posing as Lenin to the man himself.

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Sky’s Alistair Bunkall tells the full story behind the novichok poisonings.

“We don’t know to what extent we can make any formal conclusions about who looks like whom, are they alike, where they lived, where they grew up,” he said.

“On the Red Square there are still 10 Stalins and 15 Lenins running around, and they look remarkably like the originals,” he said, referring to people who dress up as Soviet leaders to pose for photographs with tourists.

Former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with a nerve agent in March, and survived the attack.

But a resident, Dawn Sturgess, later died from contact with the poison, which her partner Charlie Rowley had found in a discarded perfume bottle.

Mr Rowley also fell ill.

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The foreign secretary has warned Russia
CCTV3 = image of both suspects at Salisbury train station at 16:11hrs on 03 March 2018
Both suspects were pictured at Salisbury train station at 4.11pm on 3 March 2018

The government has accused Russia of orchestrating the poisoning.

Moscow denies any involvement, saying the two suspects were tourists visiting Salisbury twice during a weekend trip to Britain.

Mr Peskov said that, in order to draw any conclusions, the Russian authorities needed verified information from British officials about the Skripal case, something he said London has withheld.

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