BUG FOILS PROBE HACK
RUSSIAN spooks who tried to hack the chemical weapons watchdog as it probed the Salisbury attack were foiled because a friend of one of the assassins was bugged. Colonel Konstantin Bakhtin was caught discussing the plot against the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in Amsterdam during phone calls to the GRU headquarters. A Russian security source said: “The Dutch were watching from the start. They’d tapped his phone so whenever he called they were listening. He was responsible for the tech they used and helped get them their equipment.”
Bakhtin is now reportedly being recalled to Moscow – and is likely to face a sticky end.
During his training, he lived in the same dormitory as Anatoly Chepiga – who used the alias of Ruslan Boshirov in the March novichok attack.
Chepiga lived in flat 28, while Bakhtin lived in apartment 10 at the Russian State Humanitarian University at Building 1, Kirovogradskaya Street. They are reported to have been friends, holidaying together with their families. In 2014, Bakhtin was tasked with sourcing intelligence on the probe into the Malaysian Airlines flight brought down over Ukraine killed 298. The news comes after Vladimir Putin’s spy chief, Colonel-general Igor Korobov, fell ill suddenly following a furious dressing down from Putin over the bungled novichok operations in the UK and Amsterdam.