Highest concentration was found at Skripal’s Wiltshire home
Just days after the UK government said that the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were poisoned by the Russians with ‘Novichok’, it is now revealed that the nerve agent was delivered to them “in a liquid form”.
The Department for Environment (Defra) told media today that a “very small amount” of Novichok was used and the highest concentration was found at Skripal’s Wiltshire home.
Salisbury cemetery, where the remains of the ex-spy’s wife and son rest, was not targeted.
Defra’s chief scientific adviser, Prof Ian Boyd, the chair of the decontamination science assurance group, said: “Our approach is based on the best scientific evidence and advice to ensure decontamination is carried out in a thorough and careful way. Our number one priority is making these sites safe for the public, so they can be returned to use for the people of Salisbury.
“Thanks to detailed information gathered during the police’s investigation, and our scientific understanding of how the agent works and is spread, we have been able to categorise the likely level of contamination at each site and are drawing up tailored plans.
“Meticulous work is required and we expect it will be a number of months before all sites are fully reopened.”
In total nine sites have been identified as requiring some level of specialist cleaning. Around 190 specialist military personnel from the Army and RAF will support the operation.