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Britain has accused Russia of trying to kill former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter with a deadly nerve agent — but the Kremlin is fighting back.
The UK blamed Russia partly on the grounds that Novichok, the poison used in the attack, was developed in the former Soviet Union. Allies including the US, France, and Germany have agreed that this is the only plausible explanation.
Regardless, the Kremlin has denied all involvement. Instead Russian officials and state media outlets have promoted numerous alternative theories which they claim could lead to the real culprits.
Scroll down to read what they are.
1. Britain supplied the poison itself from a chemical weapons lab.
On Sunday, Vladimir Chizhov, Russia’s ambassador to the European Union, suggested that the Novichok could have originated from a UK military lab at Porton Down.
The facility is where scientists analysed traces from the murder this week, leading Britain to point the finger at Russia.
In an interview with the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Chizhov said: “Porton Down, as we now all know, is the largest military facility in the United Kingdom that has been dealing with chemical weapons research.
“And it’s actually only eight miles from Salisbury.”
He later added: “I don’t have any evidence.”
2. Ukraine did it using leftover Soviet chemical weapons.
Nikolay Kovalev, the former director of Russia’s secret service (FSB), pointed the finger at Ukraine because the former Soviet Union republic could have stockpiled the nerve agent used to attack Skripal.
Novichok, the deadly nerve agent identified in the poisoning, was developed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
The state-backed RT TV network cited Kovalev as saying: “Given that [such substances] were stockpiled in former Soviet Union republics – sorry, but Ukrainian involvement can’t be ruled out.”
3. Sweden, Slovakia, or the Czech Republic were involved.
Forcefully reject unacceptable and unfounded allegation by Russian MFA spokesperson that nerve agent used in Salisbury might originate in Sweden. Russia should answer UK questions instead.
Russian officials have also suggested other European countries could have been the source of the poison.
Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the likeliest source of the posion is “countries which have been carrying out intense research on the substances from the ‘Novichok’ program.”
She listed Sweden, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic as the countries she meant, as well as Britain.
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