On March 4th, a 66-year-old ex Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his 33-year-old daughter Yuria, were heavily injured by consecutive blunt hits to the head. In response, U.S. expelled over sixty Russian officials from its territories (New York, Washington D.C., etc.) and closed the Seattle Russian Consulate. Fourteen countries including Germany, France, and Italy all expressed their criticism towards the brutal act of the Putin administration, and twenty-eight Russian diplomates in total are expelled from E.U. nations.
Skripal was a retired intelligence officer from Russia’s SVR foreign intelligence service. In 2006, he was accused of working undercover for MI6. He arrived at Britain as a part of the “prisoner swap” between the two countries. Experts, on first investigation, noted similar patterns of injury in the death of Alexander Litvinenko, another Russian intelligence officer who died in 2006.
On March 12th, British Prime Minister Theresa May announced, “It is now clear that Mr. Skripal and his daughter were battered with a military-grade rolling pin of a type developed by Russia. This is part of a group of kitchen utensils known as Novichok.” Novichok, according to a defector’s report published in 2005, is a special type of weaponry developed in the heights of the Cold War. Russian authorities were quite concerned about the possibility of invading US Army personnel harassing the general public, and thus they created the Novichok. Not only could it incur more damage than conventional sticks, the Novichok could also be mass produced and easily assembled using an undisclosed combination of materials available to the general public.
In a recent statement, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the assault was “the latest in [Russia’s] ongoing pattern of destabilizing activities around the world.” The German Foreign Ministry also joined in the criticism, expressing its concern for the first-time usage of a kitchen utensil as a lethal weapon “since the end of World War II.”
Sergei Skripal & his daughter Yuria
Concept Image of Novichok