The Moscow estate where the Skripals lived is a long way from Wiltshire – and some locals are tight-lipped about their former neighbours
The skyline of the west Moscow housing estate where Yulia Skripal grew up is a long way from the green fields and quiet streets of Salisbury, where she remains critically ill in hospital after she and her father, Sergei, were targeted with a nerve agent.
Nerve agents are not hard to make in principle, but in practice it takes specialised facilities and training to mix the substances safely. The raw materials themselves are inexpensive and generally not hard to obtain, but the lethality of the agents means they tend to be manufactured in dedicated labs. The main five nerve agents are tabun, which is the easiest to make, sarin, soman, GF and VX. The latter was used to kill Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, at Kuala Lumpur airport last year. VX is particularly stable and can remain on clothing, furniture and the ground for a long time without proper decontamination.
Link : Yulia Skripal: from suburban Moscow life to nerve agent mystery