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

Summary

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.

Disproof

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.

publication/media

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

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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