Bellingcat: Skripal suspect Boshirov identified as GRU Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga

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British Prime Minister Theresa May has attacked Russia for its "desperate fabrication" over the poisoning of a former spy, as one of the suspects was identified as a highly decorated colonel in the Russian military intelligence agency.

Russian Federation has denied any involvement in the poisoning.

Bellingcat suggested the award may have been given for the service in Ukraine, where Mr Putin's troops are accused of backing pro-Moscow rebels fighting government forces.

The post was removed after 20 minutes and using Twitter's web client, according to Politwoops, a UK-based service tracking tweets deleted by members of Parliament and other political figures.

After Scotland Yard took the extraordinary measure to publicly identify the pair earlier this month, the men appeared on Russia TV claiming to work in the fitness industry and having wanted to visit Salisbury for its "wonderful" sites.

In this video grab provided by the RT channel, Ruslan Boshirov, left, and Alexander Petrov attend their first public appearance in an interview with the Kremlin-funded RT channel in Moscow, Russia, Sept. 13. He was then assigned to serve in the 14th Spetsnaz Brigade in Russia's farthest-eastern city of Khabarovsk, one of the elite Spetsnaz units under GRU command. The prosecutors said the two were undercover officers for Russian military intelligence, the GRU.

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The prime minister said Russia had "flagrantly breach [ing] global norms" and condemned "the reckless use of chemical weapons on the streets of Britain by agents of the Russian GRU".

The website bills itself as "the home of online investigations" and its report on the man it revealed to be Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga has made headlines around the world.

Reporters claimed the man pictured could be Anatoliy Vladimirovich Chepiga and sources obtained extracts from his passport file, showing him in 2003 and 2009 in images "that strongly resembled a younger Boshirov".

The passport file contained a photograph - dated approximately in 2003, when this passport was obtained - that strongly resembled a younger "Boshirov" as seen in passport photos released by the United Kingdom police.

In response to the Skripal poisoning, U.S. Ambassador to the U.K. Woody Johnson said in a tweet earlier this month that the U.S. and Britain "stand firmly together in holding Russian Federation accountable for its act of aggression". CCTV released by police showed the two men in Salisbury close to Skripal's house on the day of the poisoning.

The pair survived the attack but two more people were poisoned and one of the victims, Dawn Sturgess, died in July.