Tags: nerve agent | ex-russian spy | chemical weapons

Nerve Agent Used on Ex-Russian Spy a 'Horror' Poison

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By    |   Thursday, 12 April 2018 01:08 PM

The nerve agent used to poison a former Russian spy and his daughter in England has been confirmed as novichok, a series of highly-toxic substances developed in Russia and considered among the deadliest chemical weapons ever made.

The finding, announced by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), an international chemical weapons watchdog, was immediately jumped on by British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson as an indictment of Russia’s culpability in the attack.

“There can be no doubt what was used and there remains no alternative explanation about who was responsible – only Russia has the means, motive and record,” Johnson said, according to The Guardian.

“We will now work tirelessly with our partners to help stamp out the grotesque use of weapons of this kind … The Kremlin must give answers.”

The United Kingdom has called for a meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the findings.

The Kremlin has denied any role in the March 4th attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, who were found unconscious on a park bench in Salisbury, a cathedral city in Wiltshire, some 78 miles southwest of London.

Sergei, 66, remains in the hospital while Yulia, 33, has recovered and been released. A police officer, Detective Sgt. Nick Bailey, who responded to the scene of the assault, was also hospitalized but has since been discharged.

Nerve agents are particularly nasty substances that paralyze the nerves controlling muscle movements, breathing and other functions.

Vil Mirzayanov, who led counter-intelligence for the former Soviet Union's military and helped develop novichok, told The Daily Mail the chemical “causes you convulsions and you can't breathe and after that you die, if you get enough of a dose of it.

"Its real torture, it's impossible to imagine. Even in low doses the pain can go on for weeks. You cannot imagine the horror, it's so bad," said Mirzayanov, an exiled scientist who now lives in New Jersey.

He added: 'It's a brazen attack. Putin thinks he can use everything to kill enemies. They don't tolerate any opponents. They should be punished. It's an open demonstration of this Russian terrorism.”

The Sunday Times of London reports that the Skripals will be offered new identities and a new life in the United States "in an attempt to protect them from further murder attempts."

British intelligence officials have had discussions with their counterparts in the CIA about resettling the pair, according to the newspaper.

The OPCW, in its report which identified the nerve agent by its chemical properties, said it had an "almost complete absence" of impurities.

The poisoning led to President Donald Trump expelling 60 diplomats from the U.S. All told, some 18 countries have expelled Russian officials.


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The nerve agent used to poison a former Russian spy and his daughter in England has been confirmed as novichok, a series of highly-toxic substances developed in Russia and considered among the deadliest chemical weapons ever made.
nerve agent, ex-russian spy, chemical weapons
451
2018-08-12
Thursday, 12 April 2018 01:08 PM
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