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Revealed: The battle-hardened Spetsnaz Brigade special forces unit that trained Skripal 'hitman'

Revealed: The battle-hardened Spetsnaz Brigade special forces unit that trained Skripal 'hitman'The special forces brigade in which Anatoliy Chepiga served carried out secret missions in Ukraine for which it is believed he was awarded Russia’s highest honour. Colonel Chepiga – the Salisbury nerve agent assassin travelling under the false identity Ruslan Boshirov – had graduated in 2001 from his military academy in far eastern Russia on the Chinese border, 5,000 miles and a five-day train journey from Moscow. Passing out with honours, he was assigned to the 14th Spetsnaz Brigade, stationed in Khabarovsk, again in the far east of Russia and 20 miles from the Chinese border. From there, Col Chepiga served three tours in Chechnya in the brutal second Chechen war. Russia’s Spetsnaz special forces brigades are run by the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence unit of which Sergei Skripal, the target in Salisbury, was also a colonel. Colonel Sergei Skripal also served in Russia’s military intelligence unit Spetsnaz units have a reputation for ruthlessness and are highly regarded by their British equivalents – the SBS and the SAS. The units are highly trained and well-equipped. Its bat-and-globe symbol embodies an ethos for shadowy operations that are not confined to Russian soil. Two Spetsnaz units were based in Chechnya during the second war until they were disbanded in 2008. Salisbury suspects named by British authorities as Ruslan Boshirov (left) and Alexander Petrov Credit: AFP/Getty It is not known what role Col Chepiga played in Chechnya, but he will have emerged battle-hardened amid reports he has received more than 20 separate military awards for his service. A year later in 2009, with the war in Chechnya largely over, Col Chepiga was withdrawn to Moscow. It is there he was given his fake identity, Ruslan Boshirov, by his GRU paymasters. Each Spetsnaz brigade consists of about 1,000 special forces troops. Brigades were deployed in Ukraine in 2014 as Russia began military incursions that led to the annexation of the Crimea and an ongoing war with Ukraine in the east. Read more | Salisbury Novichok poisoning A report on Russian troop movements claimed that the 14th Brigade had been secretly deployed on the eastern border with Ukraine in late 2014, a couple of months before Col Chepiga was given his Hero of the Russian Federation medal. Units of 14th brigade were transferred to southern Russia in August and then moved to Millerovo airport in the Rostov region, close to Ukraine by the autumn.  The 14th brigade was established in 1963 and fought in the war in Afghanistan in the decade from 1979. Sergei Skripal profile Col Skripal served with an airborne regiment in Afghanistan before being recruited by the GRU. The brigade fought in both Chechen wars.



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'Spider-Man' Who Saved Boy From Fall Starts Work With Paris Fire Brigade

'Spider-Man' Who Saved Boy From Fall Starts Work With Paris Fire BrigadeThe Mali immigrant dubbed "Le Spider-Man," who saved a young boy dangling from



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