Novichok nerve agents – Russia's dangerous 'new' poison

2018/3/13 22:58:18

Double agent Sergei Skripal was poisoned with a little-known nerve agent from a group of chemical compounds known as Novichok. The Soviets once developed these weapons to circumvent the Chemical Weapons Convention.

 

Photo: British Army hazardous substance specialists investigating the Skripal case.


 

 

 

 

By Fabian Schmidt for Deutsche Welle, Mar 13, 2018

 

"Novichok" means the "new guy" in Russian – even if it isn't actually that "new" today.

 

The family of compounds, which were developed in the 1970s and 80s, comprise numerous nerve agents. Some of them have an organophosphorous core.

 

Novichok-5 and Novichok-7 are supposed to be the most dangerous – up to eight times more poisonous than VX – one of the most deadly chemical weapons in the world. But in total, there are more than a hundred structural variants in the Novichok family.

 

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