A passport used by a Kremlin assassin who wanted to poison Sergei Skripal at Salisbury connects him directly to the Russian security services.
Travel documents used by a Russian agent with the identity of Alexander Petrov are marked as "Top Secret" and contain a telephone number for the Russian Ministry of Defense.
The findings of the reputed investigative site Bellingcat directly contradicts Russian President Vladimir Putin's claims that Petrov and his accomplice Ruslan Boshirov were only civilians traveling to Salisbury to see his cathedral and nearby Stonehenge.
When the number was called yesterday by journalists, an office clerk refused to give any information about Petrov's passports or to comment on his obvious links with the Russian government.
Lies: The suspects Ruslan Boshirov, left, and Alexander Petrov – secret documents show the connection of the Novichok duo with the Russian military
A screenshot taken on September 13, 2018, of footage broadcast by Russia's state broadcaster Russia Today (RT) shows two men, allegedly Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, attending a television interview
It also turned out that the passports published by Petrov and Boshirov in 2009 contain almost no biographical data on either person before that year, such as residential addresses.
There is also no record that Petrov or Boshirov had a passport before 2009.
This has convinced security experts that Petrov and Boshirov were merely cover identities created by Russia's military intelligence agency GRU for use in foreign missions.
Scotland Yard also says that these are the pseudonyms of the hijackers who traveled to the UK on March 2 this year to carry out their assassination mission.
Security sources told The Mail on Sunday that Scotland Yard and MI6 are sitting on a huge amount of other evidence linking Petrov and Boshirov to trying to kill Sergei Skripal with Novichok's nerve agent.
They say that this evidence will only be produced when the two Russian agents are brought to justice.
Petrov and Boshirov were charged with conspiring to murder Sergei and Yulia Skripal and Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey.
The former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found collapsed on 4 March; The policeman became ill after trying to help them.
Russian investigative reporter Sergei Kanev, who has worked with Bellingcat, said that "ordinary people" did not get their passports from the Russian Ministry of Defense, "only people who often work undercover, including intelligence agencies."
A passport used by a Kremlin assassin who wanted to poison Sergei Skripal at Salisbury connects him directly to the Russian security services
Last night, a Russian government spokesperson rejected the allegations, suggesting that the site must have links to Western intelligence services, as their information on Petrov's and Boshirow's passports came from a database that was not publicly available.
In an interview with Krater's Russia Today, Petrov and Boshirov said last week that these were their real names and that they had planned their two-day field trip to Salisbury well in advance.
But now it turns out that on March 1, the night before her short trip to London and Salisbury, the couple actually booked their tickets with the Russian airline Aeroflot.
Mail on Sunday also understands that they used cash in the UK instead of credit or debit cards, including London to Salisbury return tickets on 2 March and 3 March.
Prime Minister Theresa May has branded Petrov and Boshirov's cover stories as "lies and blatant fabrication."