Not your average household cleaner: Russian town plans new ‘Novichok’ brand of products
“I have commanded that the town administration works through the issue of copyrighting the word ‘Novichok’ as a brand name for a line of household cleaning products,” Andrey Tatarinov said in an interview with RIA Novosti.
He also said that this would help to attract investors to the town, and took the opportunity to thank the British media for promoting Shikhany and the future products. “No one knew about us before they started this promotion campaign,” Tatarinov noted.
The official was referring to reports by British media outlets after the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury. British reporters named Shikhany as the location of a secret military facility that allegedly produced the Novichok – or “newcomer” – nerve agent that according to British authorities was allegedly used in the attack.
Russia has denied any role in the incident. Also, Russian officials have repeatedly pointed at London’s unwillingness to share any details of the investigation with Russian experts, or hold a transparent inquiry into the case.
Tatarinov also said that because of the scandal, his town was experiencing an unprecedented inflow of reporters. “The mass media have simply attacked us. There are reporters from newspapers and TV channels. But we are not very talkative people and also we have nothing to say except for the fact that there is nothing like this Novichok in our town,” he said.
On Friday, Russian copyright agency Rospatent said that it had received five applications to register the Novichok brand name for alcoholic and soft drinks and also for perfume.
In mid-April, a farmer from the Russian city of Ulyanovsk presented his Novichok brand of sunflower oil at a regional agricultural expo. The picture of bottles marked Novichok quickly went viral on Russian social networks.