Last week, Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found slumped over a park bench, poisoned by an extremely rare chemical agent. The detective who found them was also exposed, and all three are still in serious condition. It is clear that this was perpetrated by Russia because this is not the first Putin critic to be poisoned on British soil (Alexander Litvinenko was the first human in recorded history to die of polonium-210 poisoning), and mainly because the nerve agent used in this attack is part of a group called “Novichok,” which means “newcomer” in Russian, and it describes a group of nerve agents developed in the U.S.S.R. in the 1970s and 1980s. At minimum, Russia created this devastating and undetectable chemical weapon, and let it escape from under their control.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May gave Russia a midnight deadline to explain their actions, and it expired with the Kremlin still vehemently denying any role in this murder with their weapon. She then went in front of parliament to announce the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats who have been identified as undeclared intelligence officers (the single biggest expulsion in over 30 years), and said that the UK must look at new sanctions and new laws to combat Russian spying.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.