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sábado, 10 de marzo de 2018

21 people injured after ex-Russian spy poisoned in UK

The Russian government showed how brutal it can be this week when it allegedly launched a chemical weapons attack inside the United Kingdom.

Around 21 people have been treated after a nerve agent was used to attack a former Russian spy and his daughter in the southern English city of Salisbury, Sky News reported.

The Attack.

Of those treated, three, former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, his daughter Yulia, and a British police officer who came to their aid, remain hospitalized.

“The use of a nerve agent on British soil is a brazen and reckless act,” British Home Secretary Amber Rudd told Parliament. “This was attempted murder in the most cruel and public way.”

Skripal and his daughter were found unconscious on a bench on Thursday and authorities have not named the nerve agent that was used.

The Russian embassy in London, which has denied its nation’s involvement, agreed with Rudd.

“First evidence then conclusions on Mr. Skripal’s case. Responsible political approach,” it said.

Counter Attack.

British authorities have not said what their response would be if they discover what the majority of Western intelligence agencies believe, i.e. that Russia is responsible for the attack.

“Russia does seem like the most likely story, given what we know both of the background of this case … given the track record in the state of the relationship, the fact that we have seen things like this before,” director of the Russia Institute at King’s College London, Sam Greene, told Sky News.

But that does not mean the attack was ordered by the Kremlin, or Russian President Vladimir Putin, directly.

“A lot of these things are being done by people operating at sort of an arm’s length’s distance from the command and control structure,” Greene told Sky News.

It could be someone who wants to cause a conflict between Britain and Russia who committed this terrorist attack.

“It’s also possible there could be some troublemaker out there who wants to make it look like it was Russia,” chemical weapons expert Richard Guthrie said.

But attacking with nerve agents is not something that can be done simply by a person, or even a terrorist cell.

“Nerve agents are not materials that can be made at home,” University College London chemistry professor Andrea Sella, said. “Their level of toxicity is such that they are only to be manufactured in specialized facility.”