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Articles on Novichok

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Protesters oppose riot police during a rally in support of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny on January 31, 2021 in Moscow, Russia. Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images

Navalny returns to Russia and brings anti-Putin politics with him

Poisoning Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny didn't get rid of him. He survived the attack, and now the Kremlin must deal with a reinvigorated reform movement led by Navalny.
Alexei Navalny remains in hospital in Germany after he was poisoned in Siberia. Anatoly Maltsev/EPA

Alexei Navalny poisoning: what theatrical assassination attempts reveal about Vladimir Putin’s grip on power in Russia

Vladimir Putin is a standard-bearer, rather than a pioneer in the history of Soviet and Russian political assassination.
Chemical weapons in civilian attacks;: Novichok decontamination work in the area where Sergei and Yulia Skripal were found poisoned and unconscious in Salisbury, UK. Shutterstock/Amani A

It’s the right time to review the world’s chemical weapons convention

The use of chemical weapons has shifted from the battlefield to attacks on civilian targets. Time to rethink the convention that prohibits their use.
Undated handout photo issued by the Metropolitan Police of Alexander Petrov (left) and Ruslan Boshirov. Metropolitan Police/PA Wire/PA Images

Skripal case: a sense of déjà vu that poses problems for Britain

The Skripal case shows how Russian intelligence services have the confidence to carry out shoddy operations, seemingly unconcerned about whether or not they will be discovered.
In this file photo taken on on Oct. 4, 1987, a Soviet army officer presents ammunition rigged with chemical agents during a visit by Western diplomats and journalists to a chemical weapons research facility in Shikhany, Saratov region, Russia. The facility in Shikhany led the efforts to develop Soviet chemical weapons, including Novichok-class nerve agents. John Thor Dahlburg/ AP Photo

What is Novichok? A neurotoxicologist explains

Novichok are a set of molecules that are some of the most deadly nerve agents ever developed. They are almost impossible to detect and clean up.
Emergency personnel at the Ashley Wood Recovery Centre in Salisbury as the investigation into the suspected nerve agent attack on Russian double agent Sergei Skripal continues. PA Images

The story of the Novichok nerve agents – podcast

An audio version of an in depth article on the story of how the nerve agent used in an attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal was developed.
Police teams bag up swabs from railings outside The Maltings shopping centre, where former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found critically ill. PA Images

Novichok: the deadly story behind the nerve agent

A long read on how nerve agents were developed – and used in an attack on a former Russian spy on the streets of Salisbury.

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