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Cops identify 'former KGB assassin, 54, trained in martial arts and with law degree as prime suspect in Salisbury poisonings'
New reports claim he is a "ruthless" martial arts specialist who goes by the English sounding codename 'Gordon' – pictured below – and often poses as a businessman involved in the security industry.
The Sunday People reports the man – now feared to have fled back to his homeland – uses the cover name Mihails Savickis as well as two other aliases.
Those probing the toxin attack on double agent Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, are now said to believe a team of six were responsible.
Gordon’s identity apparently emerged during nearly five hours of questioning by police in London this week of KGB defector Boris Karpichkov – who has said he is also on a hitlist.
Karpichkov, 59, told the People they knew each other from his days in the FSB – which is the KGB’s successor
“He was a very intelligent, educated, ambitious and ruthless person,” Karpichkov said.
“He was handsome and personable and was quickly able to win a stranger’s trust.”
Boris said Gordon was trained in martial arts and specialised in the Brazilian style ju jitsu who also went to Latvia’s State University in Riga and gained a law degree.
He is reportedly on a list of "reserve" FSB officers who can be called upon to carry out hits and he reportedly shot an organised crime boss in the 1990s.
The news comes amid reports in the Mail on Sunday that the fiance of Yulia allegedly worked for an organisation with links to the shadowy FSB.
Stepan Vikeev reportedly went into hiding after Yulia and her double agent dad were targeted.
Now his links to the FSB have sparked fears he was actually 'planted' to keep a close eye on the Skripals.
And Sergei Skripal’s niece Viktoria claims he was due to be questioned by the Russian FBI – called the Investigative Committee (IC) about the incident.
But there has been no confirmation that investigators have interviewed or interrogated him.
Reports in the Moscow press say he has also been told to “lie low” by the Russian authorities.
Those probing the high-profile poison attack are now reportedly building a case against the hit squad.
Yesterday it was reported there had been told there has been a major breakthrough in identifying the key people wanted in connection with the nerve agent attack.
The paper reported a trawl of passenger lists from flights in and out of the UK has highlighted "specific names" believed connected to the botched hit.
CCTV footage in Salisbury is also said to have aided the new breakthrough which comes as tensions between the UK and Russia reach a new low.
The authorities now believe retired colonel Skripal and Yulia were targeted at his home by a Kremlin-backed hit squad.
Officials from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs updated residents on the clean-up process on Thursday.
The ex-KGB spy and his daughter Yulia, 33, were exposed to a nerve agent and fell gravely ill while out in Salisbury on Sunday, March 5.
They were found slumped on a bench in a "catatonic state" and anti-terror police are investigating how the poisoning was carried out.
Russia has denied that their special services were involved and a diplomatic spat is ongoing between the UK and the Russian Federation.
Police believe the pair were exposed to the nerve agent after it was left on the front door of his home.
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