... The former Soviet scientist, Vil Mirzanjaov, who 'blew the whistle' and wrote about the 'Novichoks', now lives in a $1 million home in the United States. The AFP news agency just interviewed him:
Better b than me because I don't have the patience to fisk that much insult to the public's intelligence; it's not even a propaganda war against Putin; it's pure spite. So why the Russians bother to do any business with the British is beyond me, unless you want to say oil has no nationality. But now the British have gone over the top, and with America's Ambassador to the U.N. playing Gunga Din for them. (Nikki Haley warns: Russia could use chemical weapons in New York."Only the Russians" developed this class of nerve agents, said the chemist. "They kept it and are still keeping it in secrecy."The only other possibility, he said, would be that someone used the formulas in his book to make such a weapon. ...
Back to b's analysis of nonsense:
... There is no independent evaluation of the alleged poison. The British government claims that its own chemical weapon laboratory at Porton Down, only a few miles from where the incident happened, has identified the poison as one of the 'Novichok' chemicals.
But in 2016 a leading chemist at Porton Down published a piece in a scientific journal that denied that such chemicals exist. (Tim Hayword and Craig Murray both point this out):
As recently as 2016 Dr Robin Black, Head of the Detection Laboratory at the UK’s only chemical weapons facility at Porton Down, a former colleague of Dr David Kelly, published in an extremely prestigious scientific journal that the evidence for the existence of Novichoks was scant and their composition unknown.
In recent years, there has been much speculation that a fourth generation of nerve agents, ‘Novichoks’ (newcomer), was developed in Russia, beginning in the 1970s as part of the ‘Foliant’ programme, with the aim of finding agents that would compromise defensive countermeasures. Information on these compounds has been sparse in the public domain, mostly originating from a dissident Russian military chemist, Vil Mirzayanov. No independent confirmation of the structures or the properties of such compounds has been published.
Robin Black. (2016) Development, Historical Use and Properties of Chemical Warfare Agents. Royal Society of Chemistry
Additionally the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has not recognized Novichoks as chemical weapons because it found scant evidence that they exist at all. The U.S. and the UK are both part of the organization and both agreed with this evaluation:
The OPCW Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) appeared to doubt the existence of “Novichoks”, and did not advise that the compounds described by Mirzayanov, or their precursors, should be designated as Scheduled Chemicals that should be controlled under the Chemical Weapons Convention:
[The SAB] emphasised that the definition of toxic chemicals in the Convention would cover all potential candidate chemicals that might be utilised as chemical weapons. Regarding new toxic chemicals not listed in the Annex on Chemicals but which may nevertheless pose a risk to the Convention, the SAB makes reference to “Novichoks”. The name “Novichok” is used in a publication of a former Soviet scientist [Vil Mirzanjaov] who reported investigating a new class of nerve agents suitable for use as binary chemical weapons. The SAB states that it has insufficient information to comment on the existence or properties of “Novichoks”. (OPCW, 2013)
[...]Yes yes Mirzanhov's book of secret formulas is available online -- for $8.16. See the rest of b's discussion for the details.
On a personal note -- b (a German who writes anonymously and might or might not be a retired defense analyst for NATO) deserves a medal for the time, effort, and patience he's invested in deconstructing for netizens attempts to demonize Russians and Syrians who're on U.S., Saudi, and British hit lists. (The lists are pretty much interchangeable.)
Colonel Pat Lang at Sic Semper Tyrannis, where b is a frequent commenter, obviously respects b's opinion but once called him "anti-American." If only Americans had more such anti-Americans to catch our government with its hands in the cookie jar.
Why does he keep knocking himself out, I have wondered. His closing words in a March 7 post (No, Russians Do Not Hack The FCC's Public Comments) might be the best explanation:
The Russiagate nonsense has do be debunked at each and every corner to prevent its further abuse against dissent on everything else.But to debunk consistently, on an almost daily basis, takes courage as well as commitment. I don't agree with every one of b's conclusions; however, his readers can at least make a distinction between his opinions and evidence he presents. I thank him for staying true to the empirical approach to defense analysis, without which political freedom has no chance. Its the same for intelligent defense decisions.