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Poisoned by the special services! Top 5 poisons
Poisoned by the special services! Top 5 poisons
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Alexei Navalny drank a cup of tea at the Tomsk airport before his flight. Emergency landing, hospitalization, artificial lung ventilation, coma. Tests were taken, a consultation was held, but there is still no diagnosis. Poisoned, but with what? This is more serious than brilliant green on the face.

Dioxin

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In general, dioxin is a household name. Scientifically, this polychlorinated dibenzodioxin is called 2, 3, 7, 8-tetrachlorodibenzodioxin, or simply TCDD. In the arsenal of this substance there are powerful mutagenic, immunosuppressive, carcinogenic, teratogenic and embryotoxic effects. The reason for such an impressive arsenal is pretty darn simple: TCDD fits perfectly into receptors and suppresses or alters their function. During the Vietnam War, forests were treated with poison to hunt Viet Cong guerrilla units, and in 2004, they were poisoned during a dinner by Viktor Yushchenko, a presidential candidate in Ukraine.

The politician was treated by Austrian doctors, he developed facial asymmetry and other characteristic signs of dioxin intoxication, but fortunately Yushchenko survived. According to one of the main versions, the poisoning was planned by the Russian special services, however, evidence of the corpus delicti, of course, was never found.

Polonium-210

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Another case that is attributed to the Russian special services is the poisoning in 2006 of retired FSB lieutenant colonel Alexander Litvinenko. It all started as a common food poisoning: severe diarrhea, vomiting. However, the course of antibiotics did not help, and Litvinenko grew worse and worse. Internal organs refused one after another, and only 22 days later, doctors found the cause - polonium-210 poisoning. Litvinenko died on the same day. By the way, the Russian lieutenant colonel is not the only victim of this poison: in 2006, Nobel laureate and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat died from him.

Polonium-210 is damn radiotoxic and carcinogenic. It is four trillion (!) Times more toxic than hydrocyanic acid. The radioactive metal emits only positively charged alpha particles, which irreversibly destroy internal organs and tissues. However, they have very little penetrating power. This is why polonium-210 poisoning is very difficult to detect: the Geiger counter only detects gamma radiation, which this poison does not have.

Newbie

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Behind the innocuous name is a whole family of organofluorophosphorus toxic agents of nerve action, acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, which were developed in the Soviets in the 1970s. In total, there are about sixty similar compounds, the most famous of which are A-230, A-232 and A-234. The US military claims that A-232 and A-234 are as toxic as VX (an organophosphate nerve agent, created in England in 1955), as difficult to treat as soman (an analogue of VX). however, they are easier to produce and more difficult to detect.

The first known poisoning by Novichok happened in 1987. Soviet chemist Andrei Zheleznyakov conducted tests with substance A-232, after a small leak of which, symptoms of poisoning immediately began to appear: dizziness, tinnitus, rash and hallucinations. The unconscious scientist woke up in Sklif only 10 days later. In 1995, the banker Ivan Kivelidi and his secretary died from poisoning with a Novichok, which was hit on the telephone receiver in his office. Defeats of varying severity were received by more than ten people who went to the banker. In 2018, Novichok was used in the attempted murder of former GRU officer Sergei Skripal and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury.

Iron pentacarbonyl

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This inorganic compound is actively used in the chemical industry, while being highly toxic and very hazardous to the environment. And it is also a sabotage poison, it has a high volatility, it is a standard weapon of the special services. Pentacarbonyl iron as a poison is very convenient to use, since it is generally almost invisible when identifying the causes of poisoning. It dissolves perfectly in any liquids, including alcohol-containing ones, without decomposition, and has neither taste nor smell. Symptoms are very similar to carbon monoxide poisoning. Both ingredients of the poison - iron and carbon monoxide - are present in our body.

According to one version of the former Prime Minister of Georgia Zurab Zhvania, in 2005 it was pentacarbonyl iron that was killed. Although, according to the official version, the politician was poisoned by carbon monoxide. Allegedly, the fault is a faulty stove in a rented apartment where Zhvania was.

Ricin

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An extremely toxic proteinaceous substance is obtained from castor beans, the fruit of the plant Ricinus communis (our castor oil plant). Ricin is 6,000 times more toxic than potassium cyanide, and a pinhead-sized dose is enough to kill an adult. It was tried to be used as a weapon of mass destruction since the First World War, but due to some shortcomings it was abandoned. But ricin didn’t go out of work and found use by intelligence agencies around the world.

The most famous case of ricin eradication occurred in 1978. The Bulgarian dissident Georgiy Markov, who fled to Great Britain, was injected with an umbrella with a microcapsule (according to another version, there was a pneumatic gun instead of an umbrella). The next morning, after the injection, Markov had a fever and attacks of nausea, a few days later he died. The ampoule with ricin was found only at autopsy. Another fugitive Bulgarian was more fortunate: Vladimir Kostov was given a similar injection in the Parisian metro. He was saved by a sweater that prevented the microcapsule from penetrating deep into the skin.

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