Salisbury Poisoning Suspects Linked to Alleged Montenegro Coup

The chief suspects behind the Salisbury poisonings and the organisers of an alleged coup in Montenegro in 2016 may have had close links, according to the British conservative Daily Telegraph newspaper, citing a Bellingcat investigation.

It says the passport numbers of Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov - the two Russians that Britain suspects of poisoning Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia - are only a few digits apart from that Eduard Shishmakov, the Russian GRU officer that Montenegro suspects of masterminding a coup to overthrow the pro-Western government in Podgorica in 2016.

The first two international passports "were only 3 digits apart, they held 'Top Secret' and 'do not provide information' markings and were issued by an authority normally reserved for intelligence officers and important officials", the Telegraph said, citing Bellingcat. 

"It has now emerged that there are only 26 intervening passport numbers between Petrov's document and the cover passport for Col Shishmakov, who was organising the coup before the Montenegro's elections in October 2016 under the alias Eduard Shirokov," it added.

The newspaper said this was either a remarkable coincidence - or the passports were issued in one batch by the same authority and to the same category of people - intelligence officers.Petrov and Boshirov caused outrage in the UK when they claimed in a TV interview in Russia to have been in Salisbury on a planned holiday to "see the cathedral" - a medieval landmark of central England.

The left-wing Guardian newspaper noted that the two Russians were in Salisbury for a total of 90 minutes, suspiciously short for "a holiday" in what the duo called "a wonderful city".

According to the Bellingcat investigation...

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