The German government has said that Russia’s opposition leader Alexei Navleni has been poisoned Novichok nerve agent.
Alexei, the chief critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, became ill while flying on an aircraft from Siberia last month.
He was then airlifted and brought to Germany. He is still in a comma.
Novichok was in the news in the year 2018 when former Russian spy Sergey Skripal and his daughter living in Britain were targeted by this poison.
Russia had denied having his hand even at that time and in the case of Navleni, he has said the same.
Let us know what the hell agents of miltri grade are after all in Novichok.
Construction took place in Soviet Union
Novichok is a Russian word meaning newcomer. The group of nerve agents developed between 1970 and 1980 is called Novichok.
These are chemical fourth generation chemical weapons, created under a program with the Soviet Union’s foliant code name.
Novichok was informed by the Russian media in the 90s through Doctor Will Mirzhayanov. Later, he left the country and went to America, where he printed the formula in his book ‘State Secrets’.
In 1999, US defense officials visited Uzbekistan where they destroyed the chemical weapons test base of the former Soviet Union.
Doctor Mirzayanov said that the Soviet Union used to test Novichok at this plant. These nerve agents were prepared in such a way that international observers could not catch them.
Novichok agents are very poisonous
Some versions of Novichok are five to eight times more poisonous than VX nerve agents.
Professor Gary Stephens, an expert in pharmacology at Reading University, says that they are much more dangerous than sarin or VX and are very difficult to detect.
Experts are not unanimous about how long Novichok remains effective.
Doctor Mirzyanov says that it does not remain effective for months. But Vladimir Uglev, who invented the Novichok agent given to Skripal, says that the poison remains effective for a long time.
Other experts believe that if Novichok is kept in a vessel, then it remains effective for many years, no matter what.
“They neither evaporate nor dissolve in water. The problem is that they have not been studied much,” says Professor Andrea Sella at University College of London.
There are many types
Some nerve agents are liquid and some may also be solid. It is believed that their fine powder can be made.
Some nerve agents are less poisonous so that they can be transported anywhere safely.
But if they are mixed together, they become very dangerous.
Some Novichok agents effect from 30 seconds to two minutes.
These effects also occur when inhaled, swallowed, and in contact with the skin.
Like the rest of the nerve agent, Novichok also numbs the nervous system, leaving the body inactive.
The first symptom is the pupils shrinking, then there may be difficulty in breathing.
Doctor Mirzyanov says that it has three antidotes – atropine and ethene. This effect can be reduced but these are not cures.
If a person comes in contact with a nerve agent, remove his clothes and wash the skin with soap and water.