Novichok and Murkier Case of Navalny Poisoning: Is Russia Flouting Chemical Weapon Convention Obligations?

Alexei Navalny, the Russian pro-democratic opposition figure and anti-corruption activist, wrote in an August 2021 article that “[I] did not die from poisoning by a chemical weapon, and it would seem that corruption played no small part in my survival.” Fortunately, he lives to tell this ordeal. Navalny was recollecting the assassination attempt on his life exactly a year back, with a suspected nerve agent. On August 20, 2020, Navalny was grievously ill onboard a flight from Tomsk (Siberia) to Moscow.

ANIMESH ROUL

Toxic - A History of Nerve Agents, From Nazi Germany to Putin’s Russia

Dan Kaszeta’s book traces the journey of nerve agents from their initial discovery in WW-II era Germany to their eventual spread around the world. The author explores their chronological development while deep-diving into specific chemical weapons programs on a topical basis. The book begins with the prologue explaining the use of the Calabar bean as a method to determine guilt in judicial proceedings in West Africa during the mid-1800s.

STATEMENT: "OPCW and CW threats posed by extremist groups and insincere nation states"

Presentation to the 23rd CWC Conference of States Parties (CSP) Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, The Hague, The Netherlands, November 23, 2018

Mr Chairman, Director-General, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen, It’s an honour to be present at the 23rd Conference of States Parties (CSP-23) and the 4th Review Conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

ANIMESH ROUL

The Syrian Détente. Is This the End of the Unipolar Moment?

In his famous 1990 essay in Foreign Affairs, Charles Krauthammer had declared that the unipolar moment had arrived. He had listed a few reasons to support his argument; there was no challenging power, nor was there likely any in the few decades, there was no power dispersion at the international level at that moment, the former Soviet Union’s capacity was in a decline. Thus, Krauthammer emphasised, at that time there was no first-rate power in the world that could match the capacity of the US.

AVINASH GODBOLE

Syria’s Chemical Weapon Mess and Great Power Game

Syrian crisis has achieved the unachievable. It has compelled a communist country to talk peace and democratic/capitalist countries to talk war. Fortunately, it appears that the invasion of Syria by the US forces has been stopped, at least, temporarily. An agreement on chemical weapons stockpiled in Syria has been reached following the talks held in Geneva between the Foreign Minister of Russia, Sergey V. Lavrov, and US Secretary of State John Kerry.

AJEY LELE & GUNJAN SINGH

India’s Much Awaited Chemical Weapons Convention Bill

On Aug 30, 2012 the Lower House (Lok Sabha) of Indian Parliament passed a bill to amend the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) Act (2002). The Chemical Weapons Convention (Amendment), 2012 Bill “prohibits transfer of specified toxic chemicals from and to a country which is not party to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)”. Passing of this Bill was part of India's international obligation towards CWC.

AJEY LELE

View Point: Chemical Substance Attacks in Afghan Schools

Afghan Taliban’s campaign against female education and empowerment is well known. This campaign reached new heights when unidentified poison attacks occurred targeting several girls schools located in Kapisa and Parwan provinces in April-May 2009. These attacks involved poisonous chemical substances and the victims had complained of headaches, nausea, vomiting, itching in the eyes following exposure. Again, in mid 2010, incidents of poisoning came to light in the Afghan capital, Kabul including in Esmati High School. Similar incidents have been noticed in 2012 as well.