Disinfo: Berlin did not depend on evidence in its claim about Navalny’s poisoning


For its part, Germany claimed that Navalny was subjected to a poisoning attempt with the nerve agent “Novichok”, after it said that the doctors found traces of this substance in his blood sample, which was taken at the Charité hospital in Berlin, to which the opposition blogger was taken from Omsk, Russia. Berlin did not depend on any evidence in this, which prompted Moscow to describe the incident as a charade designed to justify the imposition of new sanctions on it.


Recurring disinformation narrative surrounding the poisoning of a prominent Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny.

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, where clinical findings indicated that he was poisoned with a substance from the group of cholinesterase inhibitors. Subsequent toxicological tests provided unequivocal evidence of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group in the blood samples of Alexei Navalny.

By the time the EU sanctions were imposed, the fact of Navalny's poisoning with a Novichok-type agent had been solidly established and were later independently corroborated by labs in France and Sweden, and finally confirmed by the OPCW.

Germany has responded to past Russian calls for Navalny's medical samples by saying that Russia should already have all it needs after its initial treatment of the dissident.

Germany also informed Russia via diplomatic channels on the progress of the investigation. Arne Collatz, a spokesman for Germany’s Defence Ministry said the data had been provided to the Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

“This international organisation, of which Russia is also a member, has a treaty-based mandate to oversee and enforce the ban on the use, production, storage as well as research into chemical weapons.”

Furthermore, on September 11, Berlin’s Justice Ministry approved a request from Moscow for legal assistance in the investigation and information on Navalny’s state of health, “subject to his consent”.

See related disinformation cases alleging that Russophobic Western media push the narrative of Putin’s role in Navalny poisoning, that The West punishes Russia for having chosen Putin as a president again, that the West has an interest in the death of Navalny, that only traces of alcohol and caffeine were found in Navalny's blood, that the West will falsely accuse Russia of poisoning Navalny.


  • Reported in: Issue 229
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 18/01/2021
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Russia, Germany
  • Keywords: novichok, Alexei Navalny, Sanctions


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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Zelenskyy discriminates against Russian language for the sake of the “Right Sector”

Russian speakers represent more than 70% of the country’s residents, 50% of them do not know the Ukrainian language well. In addition, the leadership of Ukraine itself is confused in “mova” (Ukrainian language), so such discriminatory measures are taken only for the sake of the “Right Sector” (an extremist organisation banned in Russia) and nationalist circles. President Zelenskyy obeys them today, just as Poroshenko did earlier.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation message about the status of Russian language and Nazism in Ukraine.

This is a reaction of the Russian Federation to the Law of Ukraine "On Ensuring the Functioning of the Ukrainian Language as the State Language". On 16 January 2021, the rules of Article 30 of the law came into force. According to the new rules, customer service must be provided in the state language. In particular, this applies to enterprises, institutions and organisations of all forms of ownership; individual entrepreneurs; business entities providing services to consumers (including online stores).

Sweden supports NATO in hope of exercising hegemony over the lands of “Greater Scandinavia”

Sweden is striving to support NATO’s anti-Russian “containment” policy in Northern Europe despite not being a formal member of the bloc, hoping that it’ll be rewarded with American approval for its own “sphere of influence” over the lands of “Greater Scandinavia” in which its “deep state” believes that they have the historical right to exercise a form of hegemony. Truth be told, they’ll likely succeed for the most part since the smaller surrounding countries (especially the Baltics) have jumped on the anti-Russian bandwagon and are eager to receive as much military support from America’s new de facto Swedish ally as possible. They seem to hope that submitting themselves to this emerging regional order will work out to their national benefit in some way or another, perhaps economically through a “deluge” of Swedish investments after having accepted that their countries are unable to survive as truly independent states. If this growing “sphere of influence” remained economic and cultural, then it wouldn’t be a threat to Russia, but the problem is its dark military dimension.


A narrative, in line with the trope of "encircling Russia", suggesting imperialist ambitions among Russia's neighbours. Similar claims can be found on Poland and Lithuania.

Sweden is not pursuing imperialist ambitions and strives towards dialogue and cooperation with its neighbours and calling for a rule based order in international relations. More details on Sweden's foreign and security policy here.

Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is dangerous as was demonstrated by deaths in Norway

The latest cases of deaths in relation to vaccination in Norway have raised many questions and concerns about the safety of some vaccines. This mostly applies to so-called mRNA vaccines (e. g. the one developed by Pfizer/BioNTech).

Some experts are certain the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine should not be used based on what happened in Norway. These mRNA vaccines were developed very quickly and have not been used on such a large scale before. Their safety raises serious concerns – they can be dangerous for older people, as can be demonstrated by Norwegian cases.


Although it is true that mRNA vaccines have previously not been used on a large scale, several countries have published information leaflets about mRNA vaccines and their safety (see here for CZ, US). These vaccines are subject to the same thorough evaluation as other types (see here for the US or here for the EU).

The cases of deaths in Norway were connected to older patients, who were severely ill or frail and even mild side effects of vaccines (for instance fever or nausea) could have been dangerous for them. It was stated these cases will be evaluated.