The “third man” involved in the Salisbury poisoning commanded the Russian military team which carried out the attack, phone records suggest.
Denis Sergeyev, who the Telegraph first revealed was suspected in the operation, is believed to hold the rank of major general in the GRU.
He travelled to London under the alias Sergei Fedotov, arriving the same day as Anatoly Chepiga and Alexander Mishkin, the suspected GRU agents who smeared the Novichok nerve agent on Sergei Skripal’s door handle in March.
Evidence uncovered by the investigative website Bellingcat suggests that Sergeyev liaised with superior officers in Moscow while he was in the UK.
Sources speaking to BBC’s Newsnight have pointed to him as the operational commander of the attempted assassination.
While travelling to the UK during 2017-2018, Sergeyev only spoke to a single telephone number, a Russian “ghost mobile” believed to be his connection to GRU headquarters, phone data suggests.