Meet Leonid Rink. He worked at a Russian state chemical research institute known as “GosNIIOKhT” and helped create the nerve agent that poisoned ex-spy Sergey Skripal and his daughter. Rink says the incompetence displayed by Skripal’s attackers means Russia wasn’t likely involved.
Speaking to the news agency RIA Novosti, Rink also dismissed a theory that someone planted “Novichok” poison in the suitcase of Skripal’s daughter in Moscow, before she flew to London. The nerve agent would have had immediate effects, he says, and Yulia Skripal wouldn’t have survived the flight. Rink also accused the British of manufacturing their own supply of Novichok.
According to Reuters, an employee named “Leonid Rink” at GosNIIOKhT was sentenced to a year’s probation in the 1990s for selling poisons from chemical weapons out of his garage “to supplement his income and pay down debt.” Russian news outlets also report that a researcher at this facility sold poisons illegally in the 1990s, but they identify him as “Igor Rink,” not “Leonid Rink.”