Theories abound in the Russian ex-spy poisoning case

Conspiracy theories abound in the poisoning case involving a former Russia spy. EURACTIV brings you some of the most original ones as part of the “Fact or Fake” series, in partnership with France 24.

The United Kingdom points the finger at Moscow in the poisoning case involving a former Russian spy … but conspiracy theories abound on social networks.

In Moscow, the dominant theory is that the UK or the US are trying to destabilise Russia before the elections, which Vladimir Putin won by a comfortable majority.

A more original theory, seen on Russian television, is that the UK poisoned the former spy to stage a boycott of the coming football World Cup in Russia. A fear which appears unfounded since only the Royal Family have signalled their intention to do that.

But the most original theory award probably goes to Rossiya24, which claims that the former Russian agent was exposed to the product “by accident” while the British secret service was conducting an experiment on the toxic gas.

One of the few certainties in this spy affair is that the gas used in the assassination attempt – called Novichok – was developed originally in Russia during the Cold War, which leaves little doubt about its origin.

But don’t jump to conclusions, however. The truth probably won’t come to light for many years because the information in the hands of the secret services is, by its very nature, classified.

In the meantime, the whole affair seems to have somehow repaired relations between the European Union and London, which hit an all-time low in recent months over Brexit.

Fact or Fake’ is a programme developed in partnership with France 24 as part of the weekly show Talking Europe

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