Novichok : The most dangerous poison around the world
The murder of a British woman on July 2018, due to accidental exposure to this toxin, came a few days after she and her boyfriend were admitted to hospital.
The British government has accused Russia of being behind the attempted murder of former British spy Sergey Scrippal and his daughter Yulia, who have long been in hospital, fighting death before doctors can treat them and eventually leave the hospital.
The poison used in the assassination attempt on Scrippal and his daughter is a kind of poison that affects the nervous system and is not found anywhere else in the world other than Russia, being the only country produced by specialists in this field.
The world that has contributed so much to this poison is Phil Mirzayanov, who now lives in the United States and is over 90 years old. He is fully aware of what it means to be exposed to the name “Novichok” (meaning in the new Russian language).
Fighting Scientific Espionage
It was founded by the Center for Combating Scientific Espionage of the State Institute for Scientific Research in the field of organic chemistry in the 1970s and 1980s during the Soviet era.
The scientist said he regretted what he had done and apologized to Scrippaal for his role in the production of the venom, which entered the production stage in the 1980s and remained secret until he was revealed by Mirzayanov in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union.
He was incarcerated in 1993 on charges of disclosing state secrets for revealing the poison, but managed to escape to the United States.
This world did not imagine that this poison would be used in assassinations or liquidations. The purpose of this poison was to use it in the battlefield with missiles or bombs.
“When we developed these weapons, the aim was to protect and defend our country from enemies, neither I nor any of the scientists who worked on the production of this poison and experiments on it were expected to be used for terrorist purposes. It is a military weapon, a weapon of mass destruction, .
Novichok is 10 times more powerful than the VX nerve gas used in the killing of the half-brother of the North Korean leader in Malaysia and the damage caused by the venom to the human body is irreparable. One scientist described it as the most dangerous weapon produced by mankind after nuclear weapons.
“Exposure to such a toxin would have lifelong consequences. One of the scientists who worked on its development, Andrei Gillensikov, was exposed to one of the ingredients involved in the production of this toxin by mistake while working in the laboratory. The antidote was given and survived after treatment But he was no longer that energetic person. He suffered from wasting, epileptic seizures, liver problems, difficulty concentrating and many health crises until he died five years after the accident. ”
“It cripples the victim, causes physical disturbances, difficulty breathing, and then the victim dies,” he said. “Even if the dose is small, the pain lasts for weeks. Poison “.
The poison was developed over a period of two decades at a facility not far from the capital, Moscow, and was working on a program produced by about 1,000 people in the most secretive manner, Mirzayanov said. Animal experiments were conducted and then chemical specifications were studied by a large number of laboratories.
Mirzayanov became one of the most vocal advocates of the chemical weapons ban following the collapse of the Soviet Union. He published an article in the weekly Moscow Times and the Baltimore Sun newspaper published an interview in 1992 about the danger these weapons posed to humanity and led to his imprisonment and expulsion. Currency.
After fleeing to the United States, Mirzayanov published a number of publications and publications in this field. He says that the US security services tried to prevent him from publishing the chemical formula and the production components of Novichok in order to prevent the proliferation of knowledge that may help in the production of weapons of mass destruction, but he did not care.