How Salisbury Novichok poisoners were members of Russia’s secret ‘29155 Unit’ of killers who bump off Putin’s enemies, Wustoo

How Salisbury Novichok poisoners were members of Russia’s secret ‘29155 Unit’ of killers who bump off Putin’s enemies

TWO men wanted for the Novichok attack in Salisbury belonged to a Russian unit set up to bump of Vladimir Putin’s opponents, it’s been reported.

Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Borishov are said to have been members of mysterious “unit 29155” of the GRU military intelligence.

How Salisbury Novichok poisoners were members of Russia’s secret ‘29155 Unit’ of killers who bump off Putin’s enemies, Wustoo
Alexander Petrov, left, and Ruslan Boshirov were part of the mysterious unit 29155, it’s been claimed
PA:Press Association
How Salisbury Novichok poisoners were members of Russia’s secret ‘29155 Unit’ of killers who bump off Putin’s enemies, Wustoo
The two suspects were caught smiling as they strolled through Salisbury hours before the attack on the Skripals
SWNS:South West News Service
How Salisbury Novichok poisoners were members of Russia’s secret ‘29155 Unit’ of killers who bump off Putin’s enemies, Wustoo
Sergei and Yulia Skirpal were both poisoned by Novichok in March 2018
Enterprise News and Pictures

The pair were charged with conspiracy to murder Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in March 2018, as well as Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, who fell ill after going to their Salisbury home.

Mum-of-three Dawn Sturgess died in June after she was exposed to the deadly chemical in nearby Amesbury.

Reports say UK intelligence, working with French, Swiss and American counterparts, have identified 15 Russian assassins – including Petrov and Boshirov – as belonging to the unit.

According to French newspaper Le Monde unit 29155 was based in Chamonix, Annemasse and Evian, in the alpine Haute-Savoie department of eastern France, bordering Switzerland and Italy.

The 15 officers mentioned reportedly did not carry out operations on French soil, but used the country as a base of operations.

They were engaged in assassination and sabotage as well as more obscure tasks such as running dead drops.

Le Monde quotes an unnamed, high-ranking French intelligence officer as saying that these spies used the Haute-Savoie as a “support base for the totality of the clandestine operations of unit 29155 in Europe”.

The agents operated all over Europe including the UK, Bulgaria, France, Crimea, Ukraine, Moldova and Montenegro, among others.

How Salisbury Novichok poisoners were members of Russia’s secret ‘29155 Unit’ of killers who bump off Putin’s enemies, Wustoo
The unit’s commander is said to be Major General Andrei V Averyanov
How Salisbury Novichok poisoners were members of Russia’s secret ‘29155 Unit’ of killers who bump off Putin’s enemies, Wustoo
Soldiers in protective gear in the aftermath of the novichok attack in Salisbury
PA:Press Association

Unit 29155 is made up are decorated veterans of Russia’s bloodiest wars, including in Afghanistan, Chechnya and Ukraine, the New York Times reports.

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According to assessments by Western intelligence services, the unit’s operations are so secret, its existence is probably unknown even to other GRU operatives.

A 2017 photo shows the unit’s commander, Major General Andrei V. Averyanov, at his daughter’s wedding wearing grey suit and bow tie.

Intelligence officials in the four Western countries who have identified the unit say it is unclear how often it mobilised

They warn that it is impossible to know when and where its operatives will strike next.

“This is a unit of the G.R.U. that has been active over the years across Europe,” said one security official.

“It’s been a surprise that the Russians, the G.R.U., this unit, have felt free to go ahead and carry out this extreme malign activity in friendly countries. That’s been a shock.”

Petrov and Boshirov – suspected to be travelling under aliases – arrived in the country at Gatwick Airport before getting a train from London to Salisbury.

Incredible CCTV footage shows the pair – who are believed to be in the 40s – smiling as they stroll through the city on the day of the Skripal attack.

Police said Novichok was brought into Britain in a Nina Ricci ‘Premier Jour’ perfume bottle with a specially made poison applicator.

How Salisbury Novichok poisoners were members of Russia’s secret ‘29155 Unit’ of killers who bump off Putin’s enemies, Wustoo
CCTV image of both suspects at Salisbury train station the day before the attack
SWNS:South West News Service
How Salisbury Novichok poisoners were members of Russia’s secret ‘29155 Unit’ of killers who bump off Putin’s enemies, Wustoo
Police said Novichok was brought into Britain in a Nina Ricci ‘Premier Jour’ perfume bottle
SWNS:South West News Service

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