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Soviet-era toxin used to attack ex-Russian spy

by Leigh Jones
Posted 3/13/18, 08:59 am

British officials have identified the nerve agent used to attack a former Russian spy in the U.K. as Novichok, a class of poisons developed in the Soviet Union near the end of the Cold War. That connection makes it “highly likely” the Russian government had some involvement in the incident, British Prime Minister Theresa May said Monday. Sergei Skripal and his daughter remain in comas at a hospital in Salisbury, England, and experts say their recovery remains uncertain. Russian officials jailed Skripal in 2006 for being a double agent for England, a charge he denied. He gained his freedom in a 2010 prisoner swap and settled in Salisbury. Russia has denied involvement in the attack, but world leaders aren’t buying it. Former U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said orders for the attack “clearly came from Russia,” and the French Foreign Ministry called it “totally unacceptable” without naming Russia specifically. A senior European Union official called for an investigation. Russian officials, who deny any involvement, have demanded access to the toxin, a request British officials denied.

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Leigh Jones

Leigh lives in Houston with her husband and daughter. She is the news editor for The World and Everything in It and reports on education for WORLD Digital.

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