Novichok

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Concept.png Novichok 
(nerve agent)Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
A-234.png
A-234 (according to Mirzayanov)

Novichok is a chemical nerve agent that came to prominence during the Skripal Affair, where the official British narrative contains several strange and contradictory statements regarding the chemical weapon. These discrepancies also cast severe doubt on a later OPCW analysis of a British sample declaring it to be novichok.

Full article: Skripal Affair

Preparation and Effects

Novichok nerve agents are binary agents, meaning that they are prepared by mixing two substances. They have a short live span, making exact determination of their origin difficult. It is instant acting and can work though skin contact.

Unlike traditional poisons, nerve agents don’t need to be added to food and drink to be effective. They are quite volatile, colourless liquids. The concentration in the vapour at room temperature is lethal.

The symptoms of poisoning come on quickly, and include chest tightening, difficulty in breathing, and very likely asphyxiation. Associated symptoms include vomiting, massive incontinence and bringing up blood.

Eventually, one dies either through asphyxiation or cardiac arrest. There is no description in the scientific literature of a nerve agent having the extraordinary time delay effect observed in the official Skripal narrative[1]

If the nerve agent was on the home door handle and the Skripals touched it, the onset of these symptoms would have occurred before they reached the car.

History

According to British chemical weapons expert Hamish de Bretton-Gordon,[2]novichok is a deadly nerve agent that was allegedly developed in the Soviet Union at a laboratory complex in Shikhany, in central Russia.

Vil Mirzayanov, a Russian chemist who in the early 1990s revealed the existence of that class of ultra-powerful nerve agents, claimed that Novichok was tested at Nukus, in Uzbekistan. Mirzayanov defected to the United States in 1995.[3], where he was elected to the Presidium of the Milli Mejlis of the Tartar People in exile, and published a Declaration of Independence of Tatarstan[4] (presently a province of Russia.)

Former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, who visited the site at Nukus, stated it had been dismantled with US help.

Despite the British claims that the Russian state was "highly likely" responsible, and the of poison was of "a type developed by Russia", a large number of countries had at some point had access to or the knowledge to make novichok. These countries include the UK itself, Germany, Czechia, Sweden, France, and the United States[5].

U.S. patent

In relation to the Skripal Affair, Russia submitted evidence that the Novichok nerve agent was produced and patented in the United States as a chemical weapon in 2015, and was mentioned in over 140 patents in the period 2002-2016. [6]

Main Image – Patent Powder Dispersal Device – filed 2013, patent pending for the delivery of nerve agents, specifically, Novichok and sarin: Examples of nerve agents may include G series such as Tabun (GA), Sarin (GB), Soman (GD), Cyclosarin (GF), GV series such as Novichok agents, GV (nerve agent), V series such as VE, VG, VM, and the like. Source: Powder Dispersal Device and method[7]

Massive overkill smuggled through customs

The British official narrative has several other strange implausibilities.

As Hamish de Bretton-Gordon repeatedly stated[8][9], he claimed to know Borisov and Petrov smuggled in a Nina Ricci perfume bottle filled with "less than half an eggcup full" (about 15 mls or 15 grams) of novichok. This amount would have been sufficient to kill about 5,000 people if the bottle had broken, an unprecedented incident. A glass phial containing just one drop would have been sufficient to kill Skripal.

Russian Door handle Manual

An anonymous British security source said to media at the time that “It amounts to Russia’s tradecraft manual on applying poison to door handles. It’s the smoking gun. It is strong proof that in the last ten years Russia has researched methods to apply poisons, including by using door handles. The significant detail is that these were the facts that helped persuade allies it could only be Russia that did this.”

Former ambassador Murray also points to the extraordinarily happy coincidence, of the nerve agent being on the door handle, and the British government having a Russian manual on applying nerve agent to door handles, bringing Murray to question whether this Russian manual is real. "It strikes me this is improbable – it rings far too much of the kind of intel they had on Iraqi WMD. It also allegedly dates from the last ten years, A key question is of course how long the UK has had this manual, and what was its provenance.

"Another key question is why Britain failed to produce it to the OPCW – and indeed why it does not publish it now, with any identifying marks of the particular copy excluded, given it has widely publicised its existence and possession of it. If Boris Johnson wants to be believed by us, publish the Russian manual."

“The same people who assured you Saddam Hussein had WMDs now assure you Russian ‘Novichok’ nerve agents are being wielded by Vladimir Putin to attack people on British soil.”[10]

Cultural references

Novichok was featured in episodes 50,51 and 52 of the spy drama Strike Back, which was shown in the US and the UK between 21 November 2017 to 9 March 2018. Central to the plot in the first half of the season is Karim Markov, a Russian scientist who has devoted his life to developing Novichok nerve agents. The dialogue frequently name-drops Novichok, in episodes that were shown in the weeks before the Skripals were discovered.[11]


 

Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:First Recorded Successful Novichok Synthesis was in 2016 – By Iran, in Cooperation with the OPCWblog post17 March 2018Craig MurrayBeginning in late 2016, Iranian scientists succeeded in synthesising a number of Novichoks in full cooperation with the OPCW. This makes a complete nonsense of Theresa May’s “of a type developed by Russia” line, used to Parliament and the UN Security Council.
Document:Killing DiplomacyArticle15 March 2018Paul Craig Roberts
Dmitry Orlov
Sane people will choose politics over war, and sane – that is, competently governed – nations will choose diplomacy over belligerence and confrontation. If we look around in search of such incompetently governed nations, two examples readily present themselves: the United States and the United Kingdom.
Document:Novichok And Theresa May's "45 Minute Moment"Article15 March 2018Is Britain off to war (in Syria) to save the government from all sorts of disasters back at home? Challenging a Prime Minister in the midst of an international conflict is always difficult – just look at the vitriol thrown at Jeremy Corbyn for doing so yesterday – who was proved right in the face of the same accusations with Tony Blair.
Document:Novichok Part Deux: A Fusion of Media, Government & MilitaryArticle10 July 2018Kenny CoyleBBC diplomatic and defence correspondent Mark Urban revealed this week that he had in fact been meeting secretly with Sergei Skripal over a year ago.
Document:Probable Western Responsibility for Skripal Poisoningblog post28 April 2018Craig Murray
Clive Ponting
Those of us who have been in the belly of the beast and have worked closely with the intelligence services, really do know what they and the British government are capable of. They are not “white knights”.
Document:Russia Claims US Deploys Warships For Imminent Attack On Syria, Trains Militants For False Flag Attackblog post17 March 2018'Tyler Durden'United States-led coalition to "retaliate" for another false flag chemical attack done by the White Helmets in Syria
Document:Russia, Novichok and the long tradition of British government misinformationarticle12 April 2018David Miller
Document:Salisbury Incident - Skripal Case Investigators Could Learn From The Lockerbie AffairArticle24 September 2018Ludwig De BraeckeleerPorton Down has been renamed many times: RARDE, DERA, Dstl, but it's still the same damn place.
Document:The Salisbury Poisoning One Year On - An Open Letter to the Metropolitan Policeopen letterRob Slane
Document:“Former Russian Spy Sergei Skripal May Have Been Poisoned by BZ Nerve Agent”blog post16 April 2018Ludwig De BraeckeleerForeign Minister Sergei Lavrov: “Former Russian Spy Sergei Skripal May Have Been Poisoned by BZ Nerve Agent


References