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Russia shut down its chemical weapons programmes decades ago and has destroyed its stockpiles of chemical weapons

Summary of Disinformation

Russia ceased producing chemical weapons in 1992 and has destroyed its stockpile of chemical weapons.



Recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative that Russia shut down all its chemical weapons programmes decades ago and that it had nothing to do with the poisoning and attempted murder of former Russian spy Skripal in Salisbury. See previous cases here.

The first claim about chemical weapons has been refuted by the UK government’s investigation into the Salisbury attack. The UK government's assessment of the attack is fully supported by leading Western states. This investigation found that Sergey and Yuliya Skripal were poisoned using a specific Novichok nerve agent. This was confirmed by an independent OPCW [Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] analysis.

Novichok nerve agents were developed by the Soviet Union in the 1980s under a programme codenamed FOLIANT.  According to the UK intelligence assessment, based on open-source analysis and intelligence information, over the past decade, Russia has produced and stockpiled small quantities of Novichok agents, long after it signed the Chemical Weapons Convention.

On 6 September, the UK, the US, France, Germany and Canada issued a joint statement, saying they had “full confidence” in the UK’s assessment that the Salisbury attack used  Novichok nerve agents, and that it  has been carried out by Russia’s GRU agency and “almost certainly approved at a senior government level”.

Further background can be seen here, here and here.


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Reported in: Issue 139
Date: 03.03.2019
Language: Italian
Country: UK, Russia
Keywords: novichok, Sergei Skripal, Chemical weapons/attack, Provocation
Outlet where the disinformation appeared: Sputnik Italia
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