A familiar poison
Once again, Bellingcat’s work gives crucial context to current events
Alexey Navalny, the prominent Russian opposition politician, has woken up from a coma at Berlin’s Charité hospital. On August 20, Navalny was taken ill after drinking a cup of tea at a Siberian airport and flown to Berlin two days later. Then on September 2, German Chancellor Angela Merkel revealed that Navalny had “unequivocally” been poisoned with a nerve agent from the Novichok group.
The name of this Soviet-era chemical weapon has become notorious after its use in an attempt by the Russian security services to settle old scores with Sergey Skripal in Salisbury in 2018. As Novichok is once again making headlines, Bellingcat’s in-depth reporting on its prior use offers important context to understanding the fast-paced news agenda.
What can a botched murder attempt in Bulgaria teach us about this poison? What is a nerve agent or cholinesterase inhibitor and what are its gruesome effects on the human nervous system?
Find out below.