The Real Russia. Today. Anatoly Chepiga’s childhood classmate IDs him, the Kremlin promises to look into it, and Lilia Shevtsova says the Putin regime is rotting

The cathedral-obsessed, possibly gay fitness instructor “Ruslan Boshirov” is an invention by Russia’s Military Intelligence Directorate — a fake identity given to GRU Colonel Anatoly Chepiga, according to the third investigative report by Bellingcat and The Insider about the two Russian men identified by the British authorities as the likely culprits behind the attempted murder of Sergey and Yulia Skripal in March (as well as the apparently accidental homicide of British citizen Dawn Sturgess). Bellingcat began its work with only the two targets’ photographs and their cover identities, before a “deductive search” led them to a school photo of Chepiga in Chechnya. Russia’s Foreign Ministry says the information about Boshirov’s real name is “fake news.” Personal documents issued to “Ruslan Boshirov” were already circulating in the media. Funny passport numbers link a whole web of suspected Russian intelligence operatives. Russia’s Federal Security Service is reportedly trying to hunt down the Interior Ministry staff members who “sold off” passport and identification documents belonging to “Petrov” and “Boshirov.” Roman Dobrokhotov, the chief editor of The Insider, says he doesn’t know how Bellingcat acquired the personal files on “Boshirov” and “Petrov,” and insists that he’s broken no laws.