InformNapalm caught the GRU agents lying about one of their cover story.
When watching the suspects in Sergey and Julia Skripal nerve gas attack give an exclusive interview to the RT editor Margarita Simonyan, InformNapalm volunteers decided to apply open-source intelligence (OSINT) methods to some of the details offered by GRU agents “Alexander Petrov” and “Ruslan Boshirov”. It turns out that they lied in front of the camera, and did it rather crudely.
The agents claimed they were entrepreneurs, not GRU officers. “If we tell you about our business, the people we work with will suffer,” said Boshirov. “To cut a long story short, we are in the fitness industry: vitamins, nutrients, proteins and weight gainers,” said Petrov.
Apparently, their last names and passports are fake. But as their faces were caught on CCTV, the Kremlin had to pretend that the names were real so as to hide their true identities as well as not to expose other agents and the line of command in this operation.
The trouble is, unlike “Petrov” or “BAshirov”, “BOshirov” is not a very common last name in Russia. So, it was the choice of this particular last name that compromised the agents’ cover story.
Russia has an open register of businesses and entrepreneurs, which is accessible online and normally works reliably. However, it does not contain any data about “sole entrepreneur Ruslan Boshirov”.
Googling in Russian “Ruslan Boshirov bodybuilding supplements” returns zero hits, too. Nor there is a legal entity with a Ruslan Boshirov among its founders.
That is, the GRU agents’ cover story does not hold water even at the first light prod. They made a visible effort not to blab out anything sitting all stiff and tense during the interview. However, Margarita Simonyan did a fine job asking the GRU agents a question that helped expose a small lie covering the big one.
President Putin’s bravado speculating that these guys would come for an interview and the fact that they were finally interviewed by a state-run Russian media outlet should be the matter of a separate analysis. Russian president got carried away playing poker while the civilized world is trying to make him play fairly.