Disinfo: No convincing evidence of the Kremlin’s involvement in Skripal attack


Sergei and Yulia Skripal were found unconscious on a park bench in Salisbury, about two hours southwest of London, in March 2018. The former British Prime Minister Theresa May accused the Kremlin of being the mastermind behind the assassination (attempt). London declared several times that Russia was “highly likely” behind the attack. The Russian side rejects all accusations and insists that even two years after the incident, Britain has been unable to provide convincing evidence of the Kremlin’s involvement in the attack.


The story advances a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative casting the Skripal poisoning as wholly unconnected to Russia.

The Kremlin's involvement in the poisoning has been proven via a throrough investigation. British Police have presented a solid chain of evidence on the Skripal case, with pictures, connecting the suspects to the locations in the case. Parts of the material have been released to the public. The evidence was sufficient to charge two Russian nationals, Anatoliy Chepiga and Aleksandr Mishkin with the attack on the Skripals, both Russian military intelligence operatives from the GRU, who travelled to the UK using fake names and documents.

Following this attack, the United Kingdom notified the OPCW, invited them to confirm the identity of the substance involved, and briefed members of the Security Council. The OPCW’s independent expert laboratories confirmed the UK’s identification of the Russian produced Novichok nerve agent, specifically the purity of the toxin while emphasising that the OPCW team “worked independently and was not involved in the national investigation by the UK authorities. No State Party was involved in the technical work carried out by the Technical Secretariat, to ensure the integrity of the examinations and investigations.

According to the UK intelligence assessment, based on open-source analysis and intelligence information, in the past decade, Russia has produced and stockpiled small quantities of Novichok agents, long after it signed the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Novichok was developed in Russia in the 1970s and 1980s. It is so unusual, that very few scientists outside of Russia have any real experience in dealing with it and no country outside of Russia is known to have developed the substance. See reports here and here.


  • Reported in: Issue 202
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 08/06/2020
  • Language/target audience: German
  • Country: UK, Russia
  • Keywords: novichok, Sergei Skripal


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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