British prosecutors charged Petrov and another man they named as Ruslan Boshirov in absentia with attempted murder for the Novichok nerve agent attack on Skripal and his daughter in the English city of Salisbury in March, but said they believed the suspects had used aliases to enter Britain.
Salisbury around the very time the Skripals were poisoned.
Investigative news outlet Bellingcat has tracked down what it says are the true identities of the two suspects, who claim they were only tourists. While recent failings by the GRU had made it easy to mock the spy agency, he said, it would be foolish not to take them seriously. British officials have thus far not commented on the report. They said many graduates from Mishkin's class had been contacted by Russian security services who had told them not to reveal Mishkin's identity. They have both since been discharged from the hospital. UK Prime Minister Theresa May said the names were most likely aliases. Only a few officers each year receive the award, which is typically given personally by President Vladimir Putin.
They have cited a photo showing the Russian president to shake her hand and exhibited by the grand-mother of the suspect to the inhabitants of the village of Loyga, in the north of Russia, where he grew up. It published a copy of his passport, which was issued in 2001 in Arkhangelsk region along the White Sea.
Bellingcat said it gathered its information from open sources and "testimony from people familiar with the person".
Bellingcat said the reporter was not able to talk directly to the grandmother. They were then able to show that Mishkin, with the same date of birth as his cover identity, had registered his auto to the address of the GRU's main headquarters building in Moscow.
Man detained in Germany over Bulgarian journalist's murder
Police in Germany have arrested a suspect in the rape and killing of Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova , officials said . I will closely follow investigation into horrific murder of investigative journalist Viktoria Marinova in #Bulgaria .
Eliot Higgins, founder of investigative outlet Bellingcat, told CNN that Bellingcat sent an "insider", one of its partners in Russian Federation, to Alexander Mishkin's hometown of Loyga to speak to locals and further investigate Mishkin.
The Press Association has confirmed the investigation is looking at several suspects, with a senior government source stating that there are "at least two".
The NCSC associated four new attacks with the GRU, on top of previous strikes believed to have been conducted by Russian intelligence.
The man, from Russia's military intelligence service the GRU, was reported to have visited Salisbury ahead of the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, according to The Daily Telegraph.
A little-known website that fingered two Russians with military intelligence backgrounds in the poisoning of an ex-spy derived its name from an old fable about mice discussing how best to deal with a hungry cat. Yulia has since issued a written statement and appeared once on camera, saying she hoped to one day return to Russian Federation.
Police officer Bailey, who was among the first to respond to the incident, also received treatment after being poisoned. And months later, two other British citizens were exposed when they picked up a perfume bottle British authorities say the two assassins had used to transport the nerve agent.