Thursday 6 September 2018

Russians Named In Spy Poisoning Spent Two Years Flying Around Europe On Their 'Perfect' Russian Passports And One Visited The UK just DAYS Before Salisbury Attack

Security minister says Putin is directly responsible for novichok attack
The suspects were handed genuine Russian passports and then secured visas from the British embassy in Moscow under bogus aliases Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov (pictured) to avoid detection by rival UK spies. 

And today it emerged that Petrov's passport was used in London on February 28 just 48 hours before their 55-hour assassination mission to kill former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. Petrov and Boshirov's passports were also used on trips from Moscow to Amsterdam, Geneva, Milan and Paris on multiple occasions between September 2016 and March 2018. 

Petrov (right) was seen grinning in Salisbury on the day police believe the men smeared novichok on Mr Skripal's front door
The travel details were published by Fontanka, an independent Russian media outlet with a strong track record of investigative reporting into Putin's regime. Hamish de Bretton Gordon, one of Britain's top chemical weapons experts, told MailOnline today that UK security sources have told him that the men, who were GRU military agents, had watertight backstories that helped them avoid detection at the UK border. He said: 'The passports were perfect in every detail including all the electrics and circuitry. It fooled the British border electronic security which is considered to be among the best around. We also gave them visas they must have had a plausible backstory'. 

Today Security Minister Ben Wallace said Vladimir Putin is 'ultimately responsible' for the novichok attack because of his tight grip on the GRU spy network which sent two 'calamitous' state assassins on a 'pathetic' mission to kill Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

He said: 'Ultimately he does, insofar as he is president of the Russian Federation and it is his government that controls, funds and directs the military intelligence - that's the GRU - via his minister of defence. I don't think that anyone can ever say that Mr Putin isn't in control of his state'. 

When asked how the UK would respond he refused to say, adding: 'We retaliate in our way. We are not the Russians, we don’t adopt the sort of thuggish, destructive and aggressive behaviour that we have seen. We choose to challenge the Russians in both the overt and the covert space, within the rule of law and in a sophisticated way'. 

Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Theresa May's accusations are "unacceptable" and that "no-one in the Russian leadership" has anything to do with the poisoning.

He also said Russia "has no reasons" to investigate Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

As Britain pointed the finger directly at Putin's Russia, it emerged today:

He said: 'The state had clearly decided to sit behind this action and lend its logistics. The men were given genuine passports, provided with aliases that survived a certain level of test and visas used by many law-abiding Russians to visit Britain for holidays or business.
'The Russian state, which we know had invented novichok, must have made sure it was put in a package that was there to disguise it. If you let them into your system, airside in Russia, it becomes a harder thing to detect'.
Mr Wallace said he is '100 per cent sure' the men named carried out the attack and claimed that Vladimir Putin has ultimate responsibility for the actions of his spies - but added: 'This was more Johnny English than James Bond'.
It has been possible to reconstruct their journey from Moscow to London, on to the Wiltshire cathedral city and back on a plane to Russia

Poisoning suspects were handed watertight fake aliases backed up by genuine documents that helped them get into Britain without suspicion;
The two countries will come face-to-face at the UN Security Council in New York where the UK will point the finger at Putin's Russia and urge members to continue or ramp up sanctions;
Ministers blame Vladimir Putin and say he is responsible for the Salisbury attack and says 'full weight' of state was behind it;
MailOnline uncovers exclusive CCTV of the two assassins casually strolling through Wiltshire town and window shopping after the attack; 
Britain blasts 'thuggish' behaviour of Russian spies as secret services launch their own secret war;
Theresa May will wreak revenge on Russia with cyber warfare, espionage, financial sanctions and travel bans all likely to be used, sources said. 

Interpol has been put on red alert to detain the two agents, who use the aliases Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

Mrs May has warned they would be brought to Britain for trial if they ever left Russia - but experts have said that Vladimir Putin will personally ensure the assassins never leave the country and reward them with lucrative promotions despite botching their assassination attempt on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

Historian Yuri Felshtinsky, author of The Putin Corporation whose friend Alexander Litvinenko was murdered after the co-authored a book together, told MailOnline: 'Even though they botched their covert attack, President Putin will praise the two members of the GRU and reward them in ways that will advance their career, promoting them as heroes now that their cover is blown'

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