RUSSIALINK: “Russia rejects reports of Skripal suspects being GRU agents” – Interfax

Artist Rendition of Barrel with Poison Symbol on It, Oozing Green Material

(Interfax – September 19, 2018)

The Russian Interior Ministry has said it is impossible to establish whether a person works for the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence, based on the Federal Migration Service’s (FMS) database.

The Interior Ministry thereby dismissed the joint investigation by the Bellingcat investigative site and Russian website The Insider, according to which the suspects in ex-spy Sergei Skripal’s attempted assassination have links to the GRU.

“The FMS does not have divisions subordinate to the GRU or anyone else, there are no such divisions, they do not physically exist,” Deputy Interior Minister Igor Zubov said, as reported by the Interfax news agency on 19 September.

He added that it was impossible to establish a person’s links to the GRU through the database of the FMS, which became part of the Interior Ministry in 2016.

On 14 September, Bellingcat and The Insider produced passport data linked to one of the Skripal poisoning suspects Alexander Petrov, suggesting he was a member of Russian intelligence.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova suggested that Bellingcat is linked to special services. “Moreover, most likely, it is a special agency which deliberately leaks misinformation under the guise of investigations,” she wrote on Facebook.

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