Disinfo: The Porton Down Laboratory was involved in the poisoning and attempted murder of Sergey Skripal and his daughter


The Porton Down Laboratory was involved in the poisoning and attempted murder of Sergey Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury. It is worth remembering that the famous Porton Down laboratory, specialised in the study, development and countering of chemical and bacteriological weapons, is located near Salisbury.

Western media are silent about the involvement of the Porton Down laboratory in the Skripal poisoning and about the Novichok that could be hidden in this laboratory. Instead of serious investigative journalism, Western media have published an increasing number of Russophobic and fantasy-based “spy novels” and “detective stories” about the Skripal case.


Conspiracy theory. No evidence is given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Skripal poisoning in the UK claiming that the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory in Porton Down, a UK Ministry of Defence agency, was somehow responsible for the poisoning of the Skripals in Salisbury and that the Laboratory might have manufactured Novichok.

This conspiracy theory is one of the many competing and contradictory narratives promulgated by Russian state-controlled media, to confuse their audience and exclude any possibility of Russian involvement (see our article on EU vs Disinformation). British police and intelligence investigations have produced hard forensic evidence which was sufficient to charge two Russian nationals, identified as officers of the Russian Military Intelligence, GRU, for the attack on the Skripals. Parts of the material have been released to the public.

The toxin used in the attack was identified as a nerve agent at the Porton Down Laboratory. The Laboratory has not done tests with nerve agents since 1989 but is still able to identify these toxins, to protect British civilians and troops from attacks. The nerve agent has been identified as Novichok (which means newcomer in Russian). It is known to be more powerful than VX and was developed in Russia in the 1970s and 1980s. Novichok 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.

Read similar cases claiming that the Porton Down Laboratory might be responsible for the Salisbury attack and that Novichok might have been manufactured in the Porton Down Laboratory



  • Reported in: Issue 176
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 05/12/2019
  • Language/target audience: Italian
  • Country: UK, Russia
  • Keywords: novichok, Sergei Skripal, Chemical weapons/attack, Conspiracy theory


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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