Russia has repeatedly denied possessing or developing chemical weapons, but a yearlong investigation by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and other media outlets provides evidence to the contrary.
RFE/RL’s Russian Service, Bellingcat, The Insider, and Der Spiegel provide documentation that suggests the Novichok nerve agent – identified as the substance used to poison Kremlin critics Sergei Skripal in 2018 and Aleksei Navalny in August 2020 – is still being produced in Russia.
The investigation was picked up by The Washington Post, The Telegraph, CNN, Bloomberg, Forbes, Dozhd, Deutsche Welle, and other news outlets.
RFE/RL and its media partners combed through phone logs, patent records, and published scientific articles and discovered that Russian scientists had for years worked with Russian military intelligence to develop sophisticated new methods for delivering medicines into the body, techniques that could also possibly be used to get poisons into the body.
The findings come amid questions whether Russia is violating the 1992 Chemical Weapons Convention and whether it is targeting dissidents and other Kremlin opponents with banned poisons and toxins, RFE/RL said.