Last modified on December 6, 2018, at 16:10


Novichok is a series of nerve agents developed in the Soviet Union from the 1970s. Novichoks work by disrupting nerve signals to the muscles by inhibiting the enzyme acetylcholinesterase.[1]


Novichok agents have not been used on the battlefield but a Novichok agent is alleged to have been used in the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, in Salisbury, England in March 2018.[2] A police officer was also poisoned. The three victims recovered after hospital treatment.

In June 2018, another alleged Novichok poisoning occurred in Amesbury, England. The victims were Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess.[3] Rowley recovered after hospital treatment but, sadly, Sturgess died.


The British government alleges that the Russian government was responsible for the attacks but this is denied by the Russians. Two suspects, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, have been named.[4] The suspects claim that they visited Salisbury as tourists.

The motive for the attacks is unclear but there has been speculation in the press that Sergei Skripal may have been involved in the production of the anti-Trump Steele dossier.[5]