OPCW Results Regarding the Skripal Case Are Out

Fri, Apr 13, 2018

The OPCW has released a shortened version of their report on the investigation of the agent used to poison Sergej and Yulia Skripal.

The results of analysis by the OPCW designated laboratories of environmental and biomedical samples collected by the OPCW team confirm the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and severely injured three people.

This confirms what it was but not who used it. Sadly a couple German media outlets have problems grasping the difference between what and who. The OPCW further notes that

The TAV team notes that the toxic chemical was of high purity. The latter is concluded from the almost complete absence of impurities.

Apart from the great wording (the substance is considered pure because it was pure) this also means that it is actually quite difficult to pinpoint the origin of the agent. This is usually achieved by looking at the impurities which can be characteristic for a certain point of origin. Not unlike a fingerprint, if you like to look at it that way. A state actor seems likely as purifying such agents is something that is resource-intensive. However, every high technology country out there could manage that, including the UK themselves.

In a nutshell, this report says “It was novichok and we have no idea where it came from”. Of course this does not stop the UK from taking this as proof that the Russians are behind it all.

This statement of course came from the Boris Johnson, who has already proven during the pre-Brexit era that truthfulness is not one of his main traits. Fun times ahead!