How did ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter survive nerve-agent poisoning?

It is an indelicate question, but why aren’t the Skripals dead? 

The former Russian double agent attacked by a military-grade nerve agent a month ago is no longer in critical condition, his doctors said Friday, having joined his daughter in a recovery that could lead to the pair helping investigators solve the mystery of exactly how, where and by whom they were poisoned.

Sergei Skripal, 66, is “responding well to treatment, improving rapidly and is no longer in a critical condition,” said Christine Blanshard, medical director at the Salisbury district hospital.

The ex-spy’s 33-year-old daughter, Yulia Skripal, was also poisoned, but her condition had improved to stable last week.

Yulia Skripal is speaking, issuing statements and allegedly talking to relatives back home in Russia on the telephone.

“As Yulia herself says, her strength is growing daily and she can look forward to the day when she is well enough to leave the hospital,” her doctor said.

How can this be? As the Russian government has asked, in its campaign to discredit British assertions that Russia was behind the attack, why didn’t the Skripals collapse immediately if they were poisoned by a powerful nerve agent? If they came into contact with the agent at their doorstep, how did they have the ability to first go to a pub and a

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