It was made in the Soviet Union The name Novichok means in Russian “newborn” or “rookie” and refers to a group of advanced neurotoxic agents prepared in the Soviet Union between 1970 and 1980.
They were known as fourth-generation chemical weapons and were produced under a Soviet program codenamed “Foliant”. In 1999, US Department of Defense officials traveled to Uzbekistan to help disinfect and de-nuclearize one of the former Soviet Union’s nuclear weapons testing facilities.
According to a renegade, the Soviets used the plant to prepare and test small batches of Novichok. These neurotoxic agents were designed so as not to be perceived by international chemical weapons inspectors.
They are more toxic than other factors
One of the chemical groups known as Novichok-A-230 is reported to be 5 to 8 times more toxic than the neurotrophic factor VX (the chemical weapon used – according to the US – in the murder of his brother-in-law North Korean leader Kim Yong Oun).
“This is a more dangerous and sophisticated factor than the (sulfur gas) sarine or VX and is more difficult to detect,” says Professor Gary Stevens, an expert in pharmacology at Reading University, UK. Several versions of the A-230 have been prepared and one of them is said to have been approved for use as a chemical weapon by the Russian army.
Novichok’s agent exists in various forms
While some versions of Novichok are liquid, others are believed to be solid. They can also be dispersed in the form of a very thin powder.
Some of the factors are considered to be “binary weapons”, a category of chemical weapons with heads of two separate spaces, where two precursor chemicals are placed, which are mixed during the launch When mixed, a reaction is produced and the toxic agent is produced). This makes it easier to transport the ingredients as when mixed they become absolutely toxic.
“One of the main reasons these agents are made is because their ingredients are not on the list of banned chemical weapons. This means that the chemicals that are mixed for their manufacture are very easy to deliver individually from their carrier without endangering their lives, “says Professor Stevens.
They have very fast results
Their results are almost immediate. If someone inhales a neurotoxic agent Novichok or if the agent comes into contact with his skin, it starts very quickly its effect.
Symptoms begin to appear even within 30 seconds to 2 minutes. However, in the form of a thin powder, the effect of the neurotoxic agent is slower and the symptoms may begin to appear 18 hours after exposure to the substance.
Symptoms resemble those of other neurotoxic agents
It is believed that neurotoxic agents of the Novichok class have a similar effect on the human body with other neurotoxic agents. This means that they act by blocking messages that send the nerves to the muscles, causing the collapse of many bodily functions: the eyes of the eyes become white, salivation, convulsions, and in the worst case coma, respiratory failure and death. These factors mainly cause a slowing of the heart rate and a narrowing of the airways in the lungs leading to death by asphyxia.
Some versions of Novichok are specially formulated to resist normal anti-neurotoxic agents. If someone is exposed to them, he should take out his clothes and wash them with soap and water. Also rinse his eyes and give him oxygen.