SHIKHANY (Saratov oblast), 13 APR — RIA Novosti. The activities of the research institutions in Shikhany, Saratov region has always been under a veil of secrecy, but the publication of the newspaper Times that this part of the Russian heartland hidden “secret lab” for the production of the substance, which was poisoned ex-GRU Colonel Sergei Skripal, warmed up interest to the town in the world.
The RIA Novosti correspondent visited the city and found out do the locals in the story of “the Rookie”.
The city of Shikhany is located among the forests in the centre of Volsky district, Saratov region, less than 10 kilometers from Foshan. Near Federal highway Syzran-Saratov-Volgograd. Shikhany are closed administrative-territorial formation, entry and presence in it of citizens and vehicles is possible only on the basis of passes issued by the administration BUT in coordination with the FSB, the entry and stay of foreigners on the territory of the city is prohibited. That the city belongs to the controlled area and the restrictions stated on the information Board, mounted in front of the entrance to the Shihan.
At the entrance to Shikhany-1 has no checkpoint and any protection, however, as explained by the RIA Novosti news in the local administration, in the case of the city without a pass, the offender faces an administrative fine of from 3 thousand to 5 thousand rubles.
BUT it is the city that is designated as Shikhany-1 and formerly bore also the name of a vol-17, it is the Saratov branch of the Shikhany Institute of organic chemistry and technology (GosNIIOKhT), which is already a no-go area.
Before Shikhany-1 houses the State Institute for technology of organic synthesis (GITOS) with experienced factory, but it is a long time remained in crisis and at the beginning of 2000-ies were closed. In Shikhany-1 on the streets sparsely populated, there are various chain stores, tire, playgrounds, seen mainly in private houses, but the five-story building.
The road leading from the Federal highway in Shikhany-1, goes to Sheehan-2 (or Volsk-18). On one side of the road there are beautiful birch trees, the other pine. Shikhany-2, in fact, is a military town built from military parts and 33 Central research test Institute of the Ministry of defense of Russia.
To get to this town you need a permit the chief Shikhanskogo garrison, which is issued in coordination with the FSB. At the entrance stands a checkpoint staffed by conscripts, and the area is fenced with barbed wire. It features only five-storey building. However, no amplification due to high media interest in the Shihan there to photograph the checkpoint is not prohibited.
Where does “Beginner”?
In the middle of a weekday car traffic of Sheehan in the direction of the Federal highway and back was lively. It does not have the feeling that driving down to the city someone is watching. From Sheehan-1 to the Federal highway drove “Gazelle” with numbers of other region. Her driver said that he enters without a pass, brings furniture and a pass, as he said, only need to travel to Shikhany-2. Learning what topic is of interest reporter, said, “Where does “Beginner”? Everything fell apart”.
Waiting for the bus at the bus stop a resident Shihan was actively conversing on everyday subjects on the other, but seeing the reporter, immediately retorted: “Although I am retired, on these topics, we’re not talking” — probably referring to the incident in Salisbury.
A soldier from the Sheehan-2, stopped at his car off the Federal highway, said he did not know about that Shihan has developed some toxic substances. “What for “Beginner”? The first time I hear,” said he.
He added that the news is not followed, it is more concerned with family problems.
Chairman of the Board of veterans Sheehan Margaret Kurylenko, who before retirement worked in the local branch of GosNIIOKhT, are unable for health reasons to meet with a reporter, but on the phone said not heard anything about the Newcomer.
“This product we have not released, are not stored. I worked as a Junior researcher and worked as a senior chemical engineer in the laboratory, and then worked as a head of Department of raw materials and finished products. I only worked there for 24 years — 1970 to 1994… I’m such a product didn’t not know and have not heard of this product,” said Margarita Vasilevna.
According to her, the locals discussing the news about the alleged toxic substance that had poisoned Skripal, made in Shikhany, but nobody believes it.
The town of Shikhany, in the Saratov region
Warehouses of chemical weapons at Shikhany long gone
The residents of nearby settlements — the town of Volsk and the village of hay — I believe that from the Institute in Shikhany is not coming any threat, all existing stocks of hazardous chemicals had been destroyed long ago.
The head of Volsk municipal education in 1996-2005, Chairman of the public chamber of Volsky of area Anatoly Zubritsky believes that Russia is behaving like never right, seriously investigating the case of the poisoning Skripal, and the sounding out London’s accusations are unfounded.
He said that work shikhanskogo Institute tested the Organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons, no questions to his activities was not, although at the time deep under the ground there were three or four warehouse, which stored mustard gas, all of the reserves in the early 2000-ies eliminated at the plant for the destruction of chemical weapons in the Mountain.
“After the restructuring of the Institute and the nearby plant began downsizing the plant in General fell, and the institution in General have reduced their programs and, in fact, ceased to exist… A shop do the cut… it’s mostly, it seems, was the mustard which is not for a “Newbie” in any case. No “Newbie” and similar formulas there has never developed… the substances that were produced there, they are in the Mountain were destroyed, their stocks were about two tons,” — said Anatoly Ivanovich.
He noted that now the question is how to use the site in Shikhany, where withered himproizvodstva. According to him, in this town, “most of the technical intelligentsia” and shaanzi lack of jobs.
Reserve officer resident Volsk Valery Litvinovich said that the production of chemical weapons completely eliminated long ago. “Everything was closed. There’s nothing that reminded him of chemistry,” he said.
Litvinovich pointed out that near Sheehan has the largest concentration of animals, since hunting is limited. “There’s the storks, their nests. As they say in Belarus, if a stork makes a nest, means nothing (threat – ed.)”, — he said.
According to him, residents of Volsk do not attach importance to the close location to the Shihan. “I didn’t even think that close to Shikhany. I was concerned about the consequences of the incident (in Salisbury ed.), and not what poisoned as poisoned,” — said the reserve officer.
“If our something would like to do, it would have made a much quieter, calmer, a person would have died from the flu,” he joked.
Resident Volsk Ilgar Allazov noted that I have not heard that in Shikhany today something made. “All stocks that were, for the Convention was destroyed, and today chemical weapons are not produced. All volcane know that there’s nothing there,” — he said.
The town of Shikhany, in the Saratov region
Residents do not care about the himproizvodstva, and utilities
The inhabitant of Novokuznetsk Svetlana Semenova believes that the whole situation with the substance of the case Sripala is a fake, citizens are more concerned with sewage treatment plants and other vital issues. “Spit on “Beginner” because it was invented to chat and someone on the ears hang, but it’s all real (urban problems – ed.)”, she said.
According to her, a few years ago, when the Institute in Shikhany worked, it also produces substances to combat insects, this product is sold in stores for gardeners. “What they do is fabulous, there will be no cockroaches… they had a awesome means: anointed one — the cockroaches disappeared. What they did was done solidly. Do they make a “Newbie” and did ever, I don’t know”, she said.
A resident of the village of hay Svetlana Martynov recalls that in 1990-ies production in Shikhany minimized. “We have relatives live in Shikhany… We heard that saw foreign observers and turned to production,” she said.
She believes that the story of the production of “new” Shihan is a fantasy. “Yes, and people laugh, think this is another reason to impose new sanctions, once we isolate from the world… people are Outraged, that a lie is somehow covered, veiled portrayed, and now not even ashamed to say that just catapulted,” said Martynov.
“I would not say that this topic is topical. More and more residents and utilities concerned,” she concluded.
The worst toxic substances