The sheer audacity of Russia’s chemical-weapon attack on Britain can be traced through the journey of a small – and fake – Nina Ricci ‘Premier Jour’ perfume bottle.
It contained Novichok, a lethal Soviet-era nerve agent, and was smuggled from Russia into Britain on a regular Aeroflot flight. Landing at Gatwick Airport – used by more than 45 million travellers a year – it passed through London Victoria and Waterloo train stations and a budget hotel on its way to Salisbury, a sleepy medieval town in southern England.
There, in broad daylight on a Sunday afternoon, it was sprayed onto the door handle at the home of a former Russian spy, Sergei Skripal. Read more