Some excerpts from a recent interview, published in the Russian daily newspaper Moskovskiye Novosti, with Vil Mirzayanov, a Tatar chemist, formerly a top official in the Soviet Union's chemical warfare research center, who was imprisoned in 1993 after publishing articles that revealed illegal chemical weapons experimentation in Russia. He lost his job at the State Research Institute of Organic Chemistry and Technology, where he had worked for 26 years. He was released from prison in March 1994 after U.S. scientists initiated a major campaign on his behalf. Vil Mirzayanov currently lives in the United States.
The MN interviewer, Igor Naidenov, begins by asking Mirzayanov why it took the Austrian medical specialists so long to come up with an answer to the question of whether Yushchenko was poisoned or not. Mirzayanov speculates that "they didn't want to become the object of international politics". Asked whether the Austrian specialists had antidotes to the dioxin, he replies that they did not - he also confirms that Yushchenko's poisoners knew very well that the doctors would have no antidote. He goes on to give a picture of the poisoners' background:
In the USSR – and then in Russia – the study of dioxins and their manufacture was carried out by only two institutes: GSNIOKhT (Institute of Organic Chemistry and Technology) and VNIISKhZR (Institute of Methods for the Chemical Protection of Plants).
On the orders of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and on commission from the Ministry of Defence, in close contact with the KGB, they conducted research on the “Foliant” and “Foliant-T” projects. Their common aim was the manufacture of defoliants – chemical agents that destroy vegetation: the leaves on trees and large shrubs – “greenery”, you could call it. Soviet soldiers needed to be equipped with a poisonous substance for the effective conduct of armed actions against partisans – an analogy would be “agent orange”, as the Americans called it during the Vietnam War. Parallel with this, these institutes also studied dioxins.
To this day, the work on dioxins is carried out there in a restricted-access environment, marked “top secret”. In addition, I am more than certain that they have studied the effect of these substances not only on plants, but also on animals, and on human beings.
How can you be so certain?
In accordance with state directives, before highly toxic substances can be used, they must be subjected to clinical trials. Since the requisition order was received from Ministry of Defence, the troops also took part in the dioxin tests. It is not unusual for accidents to take place during military training. It’s likely that some military personnel were subjected to the effects of these poisonous substances. This may sound cynical, but accidents of this kind are a godsend for the doctors, as they can study the clinical consequences. I know that there were medical specialists from the Leningrad Institute of Labour Hygiene and Occupational Pathology working with the Moscow institutes that were studying dioxins.
What grounds have you for saying that Viktor Yushchenko was poisoned? After all, it’s known that the organism of any human being contains small doses of dioxins.
His internal organs have been badly damaged. A natural case would not produce such results. The blood is also subject to purging, dioxins are not expelled from the liver, for example, for a long time. In general, it is even practically impossible to destroy a dioxin by chemical means. Dioxin is one of the most resistant poisonous substances.
How could the dioxin have entered his organism?
It was obviously put into food. In powder form this substance dissolves well in any liquid and also in liquid-type substances like mustard or gravy.
Are there any other methods?
Via the skin. But in Yushchenko’s case the dioxin definitely passed through the intestines. Actually, the KGB had a laboratory that was responsible for checking all food products that came to the table of the leadership of the USSR. Similar structures exist now – in the state security services of the countries of the CIS. Apparently Viktor Yushchenko was not one of the clients of the Ukraine laboratory.
Was this an attempt on the life of a Ukrainian politician?
If they had wanted to kill him, they wouldn’t have used dioxin. It’s very difficult to kill a person with dioxin. For one thing, you need a very large quantity of the substance – you can’t just slip it into his food unnoticed. For another, there are a large number of other poisonous substances whose application would never be noticed by any doctor or detecting device. Ricin, for example.
I think the intention was not to kill Viktor Yushchenko, but just to disfigure him – so that he couldn’t appear in public in front of the voters.
Can we conclude that the poisoning of Viktor Yushchenko was the work of the heirs of the KGB?
Why the heirs? It's the KGB. I am convinced that the special services of Ukraine or Russia were involved in the poisoning. Kiev also had an Institute of Toxicology and Occupational Pathology. But as far as I know they never had anything to do with dioxins. So draw your own conclusions.