A new case of Novichok in Britain

Two more British citizens have been found unconscious after being exposed to the nerve agent Novichok. According to British police they had come into contact with a "contaminated object". Journalists speculate on whether the object was a left-over from the Skripal case or whether the Russian - or British - secret service had a hand in the poisoning.

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Ukrayina Moloda (UA) /

Russia behind the poisoning once again

Ukrayina Moloda is convinced that the Russian secret service was also behind this latest case of poisoning:

“Russian media welcomed the news of this new poisoning with Novichok with enthusiasm. It's completely unclear what is happening over there [in England] yet you accuse us regardless - that's the kind of thing you could read there. Even the liberal Russian website Gazeta.ru announced the news with the triumphant headline 'Major setback for the Skripal case'. But in reality the whole affair can be seen from a different perspective: the Russian secret service has carried out another poisoning but this time against completely innocent people in order to make the accusations over the first, targeted attack look as absurd as possible.”

Echo of Moscow (RU) /

Secret services not involved this time

Boris Zhukov of the Echo of Moscow, however, believes it's unlikely that Moscow had anything to do with the current case:

“One version of the story is that this was another intervention [by the Russian side] aimed at leading the investigations astray. But such a provocation wouldn't be very effective, if only because it's dangerous and could provide the investigators with new data. And if we look at the Russian version that the whole thing was a provocation by the British, another poisoning makes even less sense. A good friend of mine who lives and works in England insists the he hasn't met a single person who takes this theory seriously. Even though the British have a clearly critical stance towards their government and its secret services.”

The Guardian (GB) /

Perpetrators more likely enemies of Putin

Guardian columnist Simon Jenkins also doesn't believe the Kremlin was behind this latest incident - or the Skripal poisoning before it:

“Surely, three months after the poison attack on the Skripals, ministers could have produced some evidence for all these accusations. I am at a loss to see what motive the Kremlin might have to commit murders on foreign soil during the buildup, let alone the enactment, of a sporting event that is of mammoth chauvinist significance to Russia. ... The most obvious motive for these attacks would surely be from someone out to embarrass the Russian president, Vladimir Putin - someone from his enemies, rather than from his friends or employees.”