Sergei Skripal 'Nerve Agent' Attack

derwoodii

Senior Member.
Yes agree and im trying to test this claim from article as suspect its not correct and cannot find even a paraphrase or link to Mirzayanov and the claim only counter claim that its tricky agent to make from others .


http://syriapropagandamedia.org/doubts-about-novichoks
However, Mirzayanov originally claimed that the Novichok agents were easy to synthesize:-
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http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-13/novichok-nerve-agents-and-how-theyre-linked-to-russia/9541882


Not just anyone can create Novichok
The raw materials needed to make a nerve agent are cheap and relatively accessible.

But transforming them into a deadly weapon requires specialised expertise and the kind of safety precautions normally only found in government laboratories (though nations other than Russia would also be capable of creating them).
"With these kinds of substances, they are just so dangerous that no fly-by-night terrorist group is going to cook this up," Professor Sella said.
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deirdre

Senior Member.
test this claim from article as suspect its not correct and cannot find even a paraphrase or link to Mirzayanov and the claim only counter claim that its tricky agent to make from others .
I'm not clear on what you are asking. I googled your quote since you didn't provide a link.. and the source is in the first link I clicked

However, Mirzayanov originally claimed that the Novichok agents were easy to synthesize:-

One should be mindful that the chemical components or precursors of A-232 or its binary version novichok-5 are ordinary organophosphates that can be made at commercial chemical companies that manufacture such products as fertilizers and pesticides. (Mirzayanov, 1995).

Soviet scientists had published many papers in the open literature on the chemistry of such compounds for possible use as insecticides. Mirzayanov claimed that “this research program was premised on the ability to hide the production of precursor chemicals under the guise of legitimate commercial chemical production of agricultural chemicals”.

......
References

Vil S. Mirzayanov, “Dismantling the Soviet/Russian Chemical Weapons Complex: An Insider’s View,” in Amy E. Smithson, Dr. Vil S. Mirzayanov, Gen Roland Lajoie, and Michael Krepon, Chemical Weapons Disarmament in Russia: Problems and Prospects, Stimson Report No. 17, October 1995, p. 21. https://www.files.ethz.ch/isn/105521/Report17.pdf
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http://syriapropagandamedia.org/doubts-about-novichoks
 

derwoodii

Senior Member.
I'm not clear on what you are asking. I googled your quote since you didn't provide a link.. and the source is in the first link I clicked

Ops sorry i wasted your time as in my word phase search missed the below & was cited to Mirzayanov.. The easy to make is claim contrary to sourced others who say novichok is basic compounds but tricky deadly to formulate..

One should be mindful that the chemical components or precursors of A-232 or its binary version novichok-5 are ordinary organophosphates that can be made at commercial chemical companies that manufacture such products as fertilizers and pesticides. (Mirzayanov, 1995).
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derwoodii

Senior Member.
The Australian Russian ambassador is painting himself into a corner with his claims while adding who has seen Sergei Skripol since event. Well true no media coverage yet of Sergei in hospital bed but I await street CCTV camera of the car and scene..


Russia's ambassador questions evidence of Salisbury attack or any Kremlin involvement
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-...uestions-evidence-of-salisbury-attack/9596016

There was no evidence Moscow was responsible for poisoning a former Russian spy in Britain, Logvinov insisted, just as there was no proof Russia shot down MH17 over Ukraine
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deirdre

Senior Member.
The easy to make is claim contrary to sourced others who say novichok is basic compounds but tricky deadly to formulate
I think you are misreading the Mirzayanov quote due to all the "or"s in the sentence structure.

pre·cur·sor
prēˈkərsər/
noun
plural noun: precursors
[...]
  • Biochemistry
    a substance from which another is formed, especially by metabolic reaction.
    "pepsinogen is the inactive precursor of pepsin"
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Bottom line, "what one man can do, another can do".

Provided of course you have the formula. Whether another country had the formula used in the attack, is the question. (that I doubt can ever be answered definitively unless the OPCW actually finds that compound in other countries/ non Russian labs)

All manufacturing programmes that resulted in stocks of chemical weapons exceeding one tonne per year after 1 January 1946 must be declared to the OPCW. But on 16 March this year, the OPCW announced that it had never been notified about novichok-type nerve agents by any state.
[...]
The UK is now exercising its rights under the CWC and has asked the OPCW to investigate Russia’s “novichok programme”. This is the first time one party to the CWC has accused another of attacking it with a chemical weapon. It will be a major challenge for the OPCW, which has been invited to send inspectors to the UK to collect samples for testing. The OPCW will use its own laboratory in Rijswijk, next to The Hague, and perhaps one of some 20 other designated facilities around the world to confirm the exact identity of the nerve agent.

Once it is confirmed, the OPCW will endeavour to find out more. However, it has never pointed the finger of blame at a user. Its remit is to confirm the use or identity of chemical agents and it can be called upon to carry out inspections in countries accused of using one. Others, such as the UN, will then assess the evidence and do the finger pointing.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/...-spy-attack-russia-uk-salisbury-a8266856.html
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
2) Synthesis at bench scale of organic chemicals such as the purported “Novichoks” is within the capability of a modern chemistry laboratory. Porton Down itself must have been able to synthesize these compounds in order to develop tests for them. The detection of such a compound does not establish Russian origin.
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I'm not sure this is valid either. They might have obtained a sample (perhaps from some other poisoning event), or they might be able to detect some of the components, but not all of them, sufficient to identify it.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
2) Synthesis at bench scale of organic chemicals such as the purported “Novichoks” is within the capability of a modern chemistry laboratory. Porton Down itself must have been able to synthesize these compounds in order to develop tests for them. The detection of such a compound does not establish Russian origin.
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I'm not sure this is valid either. They might have obtained a sample (perhaps from some other poisoning event), or they might be able to detect some of the components, but not all of them, sufficient to identify it.
one of the sciency articles I read said they can take spinal fluid.. but I cant find it now.
this article says basically the same
Apart from the physical signs and symptoms, to confirm identity of the agent, police and doctors take blood or other fluid samples, or wipe the patient’s skin with a gauze to pick up any residue of the agent. Those samples are reasonably stable and could be sent to an analytical chemistry laboratory for identification. https://www.scientificamerican.com/...ichok-the-newby-nerve-agent-linked-to-russia/
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But yea, you don't have to develop 'tests' for them. you just need to look at a sample and it if looks vaguely similar to other alleged/proposed structures of Novichoks (and doesn't look like any other known nerve agents), one could assume it is Novichok I think.
 
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