Britain deploys specialist troops to Salisbury where Russian double agent, daughter poisoned

Nerve Agents: What are they?
Britain deploys specialist troops to Salisbury where Russian double agent, daughter poisoned
Author

10 March, 2018

The British military has been deployed to help police investigating the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter, as attention moved to the burial site of his wife and son.

Officials in protective suits check their equipment before repositioning the forensic tent covering the bench where Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found in the centre of Salisbury, Britain, on March 8, 2018. Both remain in hospital in critical condition. Mrs May said: "Depending on what comes out in relation to the investigation into the attack on the two individuals that took place in Salisbury.it might be appropriate to look at whether ministers and other dignitaries should attend the World Cup in Russian Federation".

Britain has said it will respond appropriately if evidence shows Moscow was behind the incident, which police are treating as attempted murder.

Scotland Yard said the evidence suggested that the "only credible explanation is one way or another the Russian state" was involved.

United Kingdom authorities have identified the police officer who was injured when he came to the aid of a Russian spy and his daughter who were attacked with a deadly, rare nerve agent.

According to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the most common nerve agents used for military purposes are tabun, sarin, soman, cyclosarin, and VX.

Nerve agents are highly toxic chemicals that resist the functioning of the nervous system and can be fatal.

Now it is official that Sergei Skripal, the former Russian intelligence officer, and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in Salisbury last Sunday (4th March) by a nerve agent, there is something of a scramble among commentators to unpack what that scary-sounding term means.

Several police officers who attended to them also became ill; one remains hospitalized, and is in a serious but stable condition.

His comments contrasted with colleagues in Prime Minister Theresa May's Cabinet. In any case, it would be more useful to try and trace the origin of the nerve agent.

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Britain has said it will respond robustly if evidence shows Russian Federation was behind the attempted murder. "But if we are to be rigorous in this investigation, we must avoid speculation and allow the police to carry on their investigation".

She said the Government is "committed to doing all we can to bring the perpetrators to justice - whoever they are and wherever they may be".

Skripal had been arrested in Moscow in December 2004, and convicted by a Moscow military court in August 2006 of "high treason in the form of espionage". Moscow claimed that he had revealed his identity to the British foreign intelligence service - MI6 - in exchange of pecuniary and other benefits.

Meanwhile, Alexander Goldfarb - a Russian dissident who was a friend of Alexander Litvinenko - recalled that Britain had accused two Russians with intelligence connections (Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri Kovtun) of carrying out the murder.

A Downing Street spokesman declined to comment on what sanctions might be taken against Russian Federation if it was shown to be responsible for the Salisbury attack.

The attack has been likened in Britain to the assassination of ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, a critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who died in London in 2006 after drinking green tea laced with radioactive polonium-210.

There is no evidence at this stage of any involvement involving Russian Federation and Putin.

However, he told Sky News: "Regardless of whether the Russians are involved in this case, they are fighting a new Cold War against us and you need to wisen up to that fact".

Blair, who led the London force when Litvinenko was fatally poisoned, told the BBC it is important to find out "whether there is some pattern here".


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