Russian scientist who invented nerve agent that poisoned spy in UK is knocked down by car

The scientist who created nerve gas Novichok, which was used to poison a former spy in the UK, has been hit by a car in Russia. Vladimir Uglev, 71 was struck at a pedestrian crossing near his home, which is close to the Black Sea resort of Anapa.

He suffered injuries to his head, arms and legs, after apparently jumping on to the bumper and crashing through the windscreen when trying to avoid getting under the wheels of the vehicle. Uglev was strong enough to talk following the crash after undergoing an MRI for his head injuries.

‘I noticed that the car was going fast, not slowing down ahead of the crossing,’ he said. ‘I started to run and nearly reached the end of the crossing, when the car “got” me.’

The driver of the vehicle was an unidentified 70-year-old man who lived locally, according to The Bell news. He was said to have stopped at the scene after the incident and a police investigation is currently underway to determine what caused the crash. Uglev, who first synthesised Novichok in 1975 when he was working for the USSR, said he did not believe he was targeted deliberately.

The substance is at the centre of an international row between Russia and Western allies. Uglev has been widely quoted since the British claim it was used in a chemical weapon attack on ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33.

The former double agent remains in hospital but his daughter has been released and is recovering at an unknown location. Some of Uglev’s comments regarding Novichok following the attack may have upset Russian officials.

He raised concerns about the security of Russian nerve agent stocks after the collapse of the USSR and said he could not exclude some lab workers might have been tempted to sell toxic substances. He added: ‘The British, just like the Germans, are excellent chemists who can with one hint do what in Moscow is classified as top secret.’

Source: Metro UK

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