Disinfo: Alexei Navalny is funded by oligarchs

Summary

Alexei Navalny, who calls for sanctions against oligarchs, is funded by them.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the prominent Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny. There is no evidence proving the claim that Navalny is funded by some “oligarchs”.

The criticism of Navalny in pro-Kremlin media started to appear more often as the aftermath of the latest unsuccessful attempt on his life. Alexei Navalny fell ill during a flight from Siberia to Moscow on the 20th of August. Initially hospitalised in Omsk, at the request of his family he was transferred to Charité hospital in Berlin. At the request of the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, a specialist Bundeswehr laboratory carried out toxicological tests on samples from Alexei Navalny. The results of these tests have revealed unequivocal proof of the presence of a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group.

Read similar disinformation cases alleging that the Western intelligence agencies are working with Navalny, that West will falsely accuse Russia of poisoning Navalny, as with Skripal and Litvinenko, that if the victim does not die, it cannot be Novichok, that the Navalny poisoning could be a strategy of the West to introduce anti-Russian sanctions, that there is no evidence of Navalny poisoning, the West wants to stop Nord Stream 2 and that another reason would be found for sanctions if there had been no Navalny.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 219
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 04/11/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: Oligarchs, Alexei Navalny

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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The West has promoted separatism in Yugoslavia

The West has promoted separatism in Yugoslavia and created national states that still do not know what to do. Why not recognise Donbas or Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh)?

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative drawing parallels between the case of the independence of Kosovo and Russia's actions in the post-Soviet area.

The process of the breakup of Yugoslavia was painful, leading to wars. (civil to be erased, and plural to be added, because there were wars in Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia) The cause of the dissolution (more suitable than collapse) of Yugoslavia lied in inner political and social processes. As described by the BBC: "Nationalism had once again replaced communism as the dominant force in the Balkans". The West's involvement in the events of the breakup of Yugoslavia was only with the aim of peace-keeping. I.e. in 1999 NATO sought to cease ethnic cleansing in the Kosovo region.

Certain forces have encircled Russia with an explosive geopolitical belt

A gigantic effort will indeed be required from the Kremlin along the entire perimeter of the Russian state border. You can start with Finland, then walk along with the Baltic troika, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan. Further – Central Asia … And so on up to the Pacific Ocean and Japan. You just need to understand that there is an openly explosive geopolitical belt, with which certain forces, working for decades, have ringed Russia. And this “martyr’s belt” was closed in the South Caucasus.

Disproof

The article appeared in the context of the recent escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh which is a continuation of the decades-old conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. It is a conspiracy theory framing Russia as the ultimate target of international events, conflicts, revolutions and protests, based on a recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russia being encircled through a so-called “Anaconda plan, as well as narrative about NATO's aggressive agenda toward Russia.

This recurring pro-Kremlin narrative paints all manifestations of popular discontent in the region as colour revolutions, portrays entire nations of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe as pathologically Russophobic, and alleges that the West is attempting to encircle Russia and create instability around all Russian border.

After elections, American foreign policy will remain unchanged as it is run by the “deep state”

The continuity in American foreign policy has another explanation. Not depending on the outcome of elections, the same people will be responsible for the sphere of foreign policy. The representatives of the “deep state” working in the CIA and other agencies consequently realise their strategy, regardless of political changes in the country.

Disproof

This message presents a classical conspiracy theory that the “deep state” and “shadow government” control the work of democratic institutions in the United States. Here are some other examples of this narrative: “Deep state” fighting with Trump; FBI appears under the influence of “Deep state”; “Deep state” shaping NATO policies. No reputable political scientists and researchers confirm the existence of a “deep state” in the United States.

The idea of a “deep state" has always been very popular among conspiracy theorists. Its manifestations might be different, but generally, the concept conjures up the image of a small group deciding the fate of the world behind the scenes. However, there is no evidence of such a "permanent bureaucracy" or "permanent government" existing in the United States.