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Investigative Journalists Reported on the Possible Use of Nanocapsules to Poison Navalny
October 25, 2020 14:09

(Source: https://oko-planet.su/politik/newsday)

Navalny's poisoners could have used Novichok in nanocapsules, according to the joint investigation by Bellingcat, The Insider, Der Spiegel and Radio Liberty. The purpose of these capsules is to delay the action of the poison and hide traces in the body, the authors of the investigation write.

The poisoning of politician Alexei Navalny could have been used by the new Novichok poison delivery system in nanocapsules, according to an investigation conducted by Bellingcat and The Insider with the participation of Der Spiegel and Radio Liberty. Investigators also associate this development with the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal and the Bulgarian businessman Yemelyan Gebrev.

We are talking about the use of nanoencapsulation technology - packing nanoparticles of a substance into a shell of another substance. According to the investigation, this allows   delaying the moment of action of the poison and "masking" its traces in the body. "This can explain the long period of time between the contact with the nerve poison and the onset of symptoms in the case of poisoning Navalny and Skripal," Der Spiegel writes.

The authors of the investigation found evidence that the development of chemical weapons in Russia continued, despite Moscow's claims that there was no such program, Bellingcat writes. The initiative in this work was taken by the State Scientific Research Testing Institute of Military Medicine (GNII VM) located in St. Petersburg, which was assisted by the Moscow Scientific Center Signal, Bellingcat notes. Several experts told reporters that Signal has experts in the field of nanoencapsulation and cholinesterase inhibitors (Novichok poison belongs to their family), the investigation said.

Formally, the Signal Scientific Center is engaged in export control and is subordinate to the Federal Service for Technical and Export Control of the Ministry of Defense. At the address of the enterprise, the Federal Office for the Safe Storage and Destruction of Chemical Weapons is also located, which controlled the destruction of chemical weapons in Russia, Bellingcat writes.

The Testing Institute of Military Medicine in St. Petersburg is headed by Sergey Chepur. As the investigators found, he repeatedly contacted both the director and scientists of the "Signal", and "high-ranking officers of the GRU", Bellingcat writes, citing Chepur's phone data. Bellingcat also claims that Chepur visited GRU headquarters on the eve of the Skripals poisoning in Salisbury.

Petersburg Institute is connected with the Kirov’s Military Medical Academy, where Alexander Mishkin had studied. British authorities  consider him to  be one of the Skripal poisoners. In January 2018, two months before the Skripals were poisoned, Chepur also called Mishkin and his superior, Major General Andrei Averyanov, commander of GRU military unit 29155, several times, Bellingcat claims.

Chepur told reporters that he had never spoken to either Mishkin, or Averyanov, or other persons involved in the investigation, Bellingcat writes. 

In September, the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service, Sergei Naryshkin, said that all Novichok's stockpiles in Russia had been destroyed in accordance with the protocols and regulations of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Navalny became ill on August 20 during a flight from Tomsk to Moscow. For two days he was in the hospital in Omsk, where the plane landed urgently, for another 32 days - in the Berlin clinic "Charite". In total, the politician spent 18 days in a coma. He is undergoing rehabilitation in Germany now.

In early October, in an interview with Der Spiegel, Navalny said that he believed Vladimir Putin was involved in his poisoning. On October 22, Putin said that if the authorities really "wanted to poison someone, they would hardly have sent him to Germany for treatment." He also said that Russia had asked Germany for biological materials and an official conclusion on what happened to Navalny, but received no response.

Putin called the story of the poisoning of the Skripals "an artificially inflated spy scandal," and Skripal himself "a traitor to the motherland." He also noted that Russia has repeatedly asked British colleagues to provide documents on the case in order to conduct an investigation.


 




Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Alexei Navalny Russia International    

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