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During the Cold War, Soviet scientists at a secret, high-security lab worked frantically to counter the latest U.S. chemical weapons.Vladimir Uglev said he was the scientist who in 1975 first synthesized A-234 – an odorless liquid deadlier than any other chemical weapons that existed at the time.Uglev and Leonid Rink, another top scientist in the Soviet chemical weapons program interviewed by the AP, gave conflicting theories about the attack.While Uglev said the nerve agent could have come from Russia, Rink echoed the Kremlin line, alleging British intelligence might have used a less-lethal substance and then faked the evidence to implicate Russia. ROOTS IN THE 1970sThe Soviet program to design a new generation of chemical weapons called Foliant began in the 1970s to counter the U.S., Uglev said.Although Soviet leaders wanted to counter the U.S., they weren't enthusiastic about chemical weapons in general, seeing them as excessive, when compared with Moscow's massive nuclear arsenal.CHAOS AMID COLLAPSEDespite the U.S. oversight to dismantle Russia's arsenal, Uglev said some of the nerve agents could have fallen into the wrong hands amid the economic and political chaos of the Soviet collapse.
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