Thanks for this Fab. I’m not a student of history so some of this is new to me, but I’ve long felt that the West has been somewhat to blame with a contrary ideology pushing more and more Eastwards.
Do you think the killing of Litvinenko in 2006, and attempted killings of the Skripals in 2018 were part of some retaliatory strategy linked to NATO expansion? Not so much the attempts themselves, but the methods used. Surely if certain people had just wanted Litvinenko and the Skripals dead, a bullet in the head, or even a half brick would have done the job? To use Polonium and Novichok must have been to make a statement, but to whom, and to what end?
I live close to Salisbury, and when it happened the thought that a WMD of that sort being used in a small town in England was horrifying. The British response to the incident seemed pretty mild in hindsight.
I honestly don’t know. But the MO is well in line with usual Cheka tactics.
And I think in Skripal’s case it was a typical statement aimed at a rival intelligence agency. Think Bond movie stuff.
Considering your proximity to one of Europe’s biggest and most infamous chemical weapons plants, that fear is quite ironic, don’t you think?
Yeah, Porton Down is 41 miles from me. Its a good point, but I’m reasonably confident that anything nasty stored in PD is kept securely behind a lot of doors and isn’t going to end up on someone’s front door handle by accident. I’m not aware of the UK being caught using that sort of thing on purpose?
I know people who have been asked to join trials at PD, it used to be a way for squaddies to earn a bit of extra money. Some people did volunteer, which is brave!
I just started reading this book on the subject the other day, I’m only a little way into it but it’s very interesting so far.
I personally think using a nerve agent this close to a place that produces nerve agents was perverse Cheka humour.
You literally couldn’t pay me enough to join a government trial at a bioweapons lab.
The story of Marburg Variant U is still one of my favourites in regard of why I find these labs incredibly scary:
And this one is also fun: