UK Charges Third Man in Russian Assassination Attempt

British police have named and charged a third Russian in absentia with the 2018 Novichok poisonings. 

The latest development means three suspects have been confirmed by the UK police, and suspect all three are members of Russia’s military intelligence agency GRU. This is the first time that the police have said they have evidence that the suspects are part of GRU.

Police say that Denis Sergeev, also known under the alias Sergey Fedotov, is wanted in connection with the attempted assassination of former double agent Sergei Skipal, as well as his daughter Yulia. 

The first two suspects, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, whose identities are believed to be Alexander Mishkin and Anatoliy Chepiga, respectively, had charges brought against them in September 2018. 

Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious in the UK city Salisbury in March 2018. The nerve agent left them, as well as a police officer who went to his house, in critical condition in the hospital for exposure. 

The latest development is expected to further sour relations between the UK and Russia. 

President Vladimir Putin has continuously denied any Russian involvement in the attempted assassinations. 

The poisonings technically marked the first chemical weapons attack on European soil since WWII. 

All three suspects are expected to be in Russia. However, the UK does not have any extradition treaty with the country, and so far Moscow has refused to hand over the suspects. 

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