Putin’s spokesman comments on reports that the alleged Skripal poisoners are now Kremlin officials
Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov says he doesn’t have any information about whether or not the Russian nationals known as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov now work for the presidential administration.
Investigative journalists have identified Petrov and Bashirov as the aliases for Russian military intelligence officers Alexander Mishkin and Anatoly Chepiga. These two men stand accused of trying to assassinate Sergey Skripal and his daughter in England in March 2018. In addition, they are wanted by the Czech authorities in connection with two fatal explosions at military ammunition depots in Vrbetice in 2014.
Peskov’s comment came after reports emerged on May 5 that, according to Bellingcat researcher Christo Grozev, Mishkin and Chepiga (aka Petrov and Bashirov) had switched to the civil service, becoming “important representatives of the Kremlin in different regions.”
Asked whether or not Petrov and Boshirov work for the Kremlin, Peskov skirted the question by talking about the Kremlin building itself and referencing past claims that Petrov and Bashirov work in the “fitness industry.”
“In general, it’s impossible to work in the Kremlin. The Kremlin is a historical building, a UNESCO heritage [site]. It houses the residence of Russian president and a department of the presidential administration. I also don’t know that they can work in the presidential administration. I don’t think the administration has a department that deals with sports nutrition.”