Scientist who developed Novichok poison used in Salisbury is run over and seriously injured near his home – days after he suggested Russia was behind nerve agent attack.
Vladimir Uglev, 71, was hit by a car at a pedestrian crossing in Russia and injured
Less than a week earlier he claimed to have made nerve agent used on Skripals
He said he was certain Russia tried to murder former spy in Salisbury
Former scientist produced A-234 at a secretive Soviet laboratory in Russia
Believed it was used on a dozen others including former spy Sergei Skripal
A Russian scientist was mowed down by a car near his house days after he claimed to have helped develop the nerve agent that almost killed the Skripals.
Vladimir Uglev was rushed to hospital in his hometown of Anapa on the Black Sea after he was struck while walking over a pedestrian crossing on Tuesday.
He suffered bruises to his head, right arm, and right leg and was in a stable condition while doctors awaited the results of head scans.
Mr Uglev told The Bell he noticed the car wasn’t slowing down and started running across the road and almost made it when the car hit him.
He jumped on to the bonnet as he was hit to avoid going under the wheels and slammed his head into the windscreen, breaking it.
The 71-year-old less than a week ago said he was certain Russia was behind the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.
Mr Skripal, a former GRU spy, spent week in intensive care and was yet to speak publicly after the poison was sprayed on his doorknob in Salisbury.
However, he said Britain would never be able to prove it was Russia’s doing unless it found the container the poison was administered from.
The former scientist Uglev said he helped create nerve agent A-234, which was used to poison the father and daughter on March 4.
‘I can tell by the mass spectrometry readings, the presence of fluorine, by its molecular weight, and from all the spectrum data I was sent recently.
He said the Skripals only survived because they received a ‘small dose, close to threshold level’ in the botched assassination.
Mr Uglev said he worked at a secretive Soviet laboratory in Shikhany, near Saratov, producing Novichok nerve agents that would still be active today.
The aim of the ‘newcomer’ program was to create poisons 10 times more deadly than VX, which the scientists succeeded in doing.
‘Judging by how pure their test sample proved to be, this may well have been from a batch made by my own hands. It has a long shelf life, and virtually no expiry date,’ he said.
Mr Uglev said about 200lbs of A-234 and similar nerve agents were produced and never entered mass production.
However, it was enough to kill hundreds of thousands of people and his conscience was weighed by at least a dozen he believed were murdered using it.
The scientist was a victim himself, as he was splashed with a similar agent, A-240, in the lab when a container boiled over.
‘I put my hand into hydrochloric acid, then washed it with an alkaline peroxide solution and put it under the tap. You could say the Skripals and I are baptised by the same Novichok,’ he said. AP – EP