DISINFO: Americans and Europeans sent Navalny back to Russia to divert attention
West Alexei Navalny Protest Intelligence services Colour revolutions Joe Biden Europe

DISINFO: Americans and Europeans sent Navalny back to Russia to divert attention


[Alexei] Navalny and those behind him planned the attempt to destabilise the country not according to the Russian political calendar, but the American one… His masters put the Russian protest plan according to the American calendar, coinciding with [US President Joe] Biden’s inauguration. The United States is divided at the moment, and there is a possibility that the Biden administration may orchestrate an escalation of the confrontation with Russia, as an attempt to unify the internal American ranks on the fight against the traditional enemy. After decades of anti-Soviet propaganda, and later Russia, Russia may be an ideal target to divert the attention of Americans and Europeans away from domestic problems.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation associated with opposition figure and Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

The unfounded claim is presented without evidence aiming to deflect the authorities' responsibility in the poisoning attempt of Navalny and to discredit Navalny by portraying him as a puppet of the West.

Navalny’s decision to return to Russia is related to his refusal to become an exile and to internal deliberations of his political movement, not to any order from abroad.

This message is consistent with pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives that protests, disorders and civil uprisings are never manifestations of popular discontent but are "colour revolutions" directed and funded by Western intelligence services or other Western actors in order to destabilise targeted foreign states and bring about regime change. And the West is always an aggressive actor constantly preparing new coups and colour revolutions.

The 2021 Russian protests began on 23 January 2021 in support of the arrested opposition leader Alexei Navalny and as a reaction to the investigation Putin's Palace. The rallies — from Russia’s Far East to central Moscow — came less than a week after Navalny returned from Germany, where he recovered from a nerve agent poisoning in August during a trip to Siberia. Navalny was arrested shortly after stepping off the plane. More than 3,300 people were arrested in protests spanning nearly 70 cities and towns across Russia.

The European Union has condemned mass arrests and police brutality during the protests in Russia.

See other examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives on Alexei Navalny in our database, such as claims that his anti-corruption foundation has never done any investigation, that he is being helped by Western intelligence services, that only caffeine and alcohol were found in his blood during his poisoning, that the US wanted to use his case to block Russia's vaccines, that the West hopes that he dies to have an excuse for new sanctions, or that neo-liberal forces are behind Navalny, or that the West is sending Navalny back to Russia to prevent him from becoming irrelevant.

The same article mentioned another claim that Protests in Russia erupted at the exact moment set by the US embassy.


Related disinfo cases


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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