Disinfo: Events in Belarus and unfounded claims of Navalny's poisoning aim at destabilizing Russia

Summary

We are observing a very dangerous period of political pressure on Russia, such as the events in Belarus, and Navalny alleged poisoning that is unsupported by evidence. It can be said immediately that this complex set of measures at the political, military, strategic, cultural and humanitarian levels, are aimed at destabilising the situation, to make Russia respond to provocations in order to attack it and discredit in the information space. And they will continue in this manner until they destabilise, as they think, the situation inside Russia.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative claiming that the poisoning of the prominent Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny is supported by no evidence, coupled with another recurring disinformation narrative that the protests in Belarus are orchestrated by the West to target Russia. Navalny fell ill during a flight and the plane had to make an emergency landing in Omsk, where doctors said he was in a coma and they were trying to save his life. Since then he has been transferred to Berlin and is receiving treatment at Berlin's Charite Hospital. The German federal government said that toxicological tests provided “unequivocal evidence of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group” in the blood samples of Alexei Navalny. The European Union condemned the poisoning of Alexei Navalny in the strongest possible terms. The poisoning was proven by a German military lab, which noted that the Russian opposition figure was poisoned with a variant of Novichok, a banned military-grade nerve agent. As for the protests in Belarus, they erupted to contest the results of the presidential elections, which took place on the 9 August and are considered fraudulent by a large part of Belarusian society. The European Union has also stated that the elections were neither free nor fair. Pro-Kremlin media frequently uses disinformation narratives about popular protests around the world and claim they are allegedly incited and funded by the US and other Western states. This narrative claims that protests, disorders and civil uprisings are never manifestations of popular discontent but are “colour revolutions” directed and funded by the West. See a similar story that there is no evidence Navalny was poisoned; Brussels and Washington just want sanctions. As for Belarus, read similar cases that the US, NATO and the EU want to dictate the rules of regime change in Belarus, and that the OSCE’s position regarding the election has been pre-determined.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 212
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 09/09/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Arabic
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Belarus, Russia
  • Keywords: novichok, Encircling Russia, Alexei Navalny, Destabilising Russia, Russophobia
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Navalny is an agent of the Russian special services

Russian opposition blogger Alexei Navalny works for the Kremlin, causing confusion and vacillation in the ranks of anti-government forces. That is why Navalny always manages to get away with it, and the criminal cases initiated against him do not end with the liberal’s imprisonment.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the Navalny poisoning. Anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny has long been the most prominent face of Russian opposition to President Vladimir Putin. His candidacy in the 2018 presidential election was banned by authorities over his conviction by a Russian court of embezzlement, which bars him from running for office. He has been arrested and imprisoned several times during his political career.

On August 20 the prominent Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny fell ill during a flight and the plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Omsk, where doctors said that he was in a coma and that they were trying to save his life. Since then he has been transferred to Berlin and is receiving treatment at Berlin's Charite Hospital. On September 3, 2020, the German government published a statement that described how a military laboratory, certified by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), had found traces of the Novichok nerve agent in samples taken from Navalny. Later, German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave a special briefing. She told reporters that “There is unequivocal proof of the presence of this agent in the samples. It is therefore clear that Alexei Navalny is the victim of a crime.” The German government has briefed its allies in the European Union and NATO and plans to provide information about its findings to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The European Union condemned the poisoning of Alexei Navalny in the strongest possible terms. Read similar cases claiming that the US hopes that the Navalny case will lead to the cancellation of Nord Stream 2, that the West will falsely accuse Russia of poisoning Navalny, as with Skripal and Litvinenko and that the West has an interest in the death of Navalny to launch a new wave of sanctions against Russia.

The Western hysteria about Russia is part of a desire to attack Russia 

All the hysteria about Russia in recent years directly illustrates one thing: the main target of the attacks is Russia itself. Its sovereignty and existence. The West’s reaction to Navalny’s “poisoning” speaks of a strategic decision to confront Russia. It’s nothing more than a puzzle in a big, sinister game. This is a clear desire, outside of control, to inflict irreparable cultural and economic damage to the Russian nation. The strength of this desire is indescribable.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory presented without evidence, which is consistent with the Kremlin propaganda narrative that the poisoning of Russian opposition leader is in the interest of the West to use the case against Russia. See similar disinformation narratives that the West has an interest in the death of Navalny to launch a new wave of sanctions against Russia and West will falsely accuse Russia of poisoning Navalny, as with Skripal and Litvinenko. The doctors of the Berlin Charité Hospital did announce that initial findings point to the poisoning of the Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny. The article is also consistent with a disinformation narrative about Russophobia and the constant 'attempts' to encircle Russia as well as about Western belligerence towards Russia.

Kyiv doesn't recognise the Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republics as Ukrainian territory

By banning elections in the Donbas, the authorities in Kyiv recognised that the Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics are not part of Ukrainian territory.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine. On 25 October 2020, Ukraine will hold the country’s first nationwide local elections since completion of the initial phase of far-reaching decentralisation reforms launched in April 2014. The Central Electoral Commission of Ukraine has decided not to conduct elections in 18 communities of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions (in government-controlled areas). The reason for this is the letters from temporary Military-Civil Administrations (MCAs) and security recommendations from Ukraine’s Joint Forces Operation (JFO) headquarters in the Donbas. Ukraine hasn't recognised the so-called DPR and LNR as independent states separate from Ukrainian territory. These are parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions that are part of Ukraine but controlled by Russia-backed armed formations. Not a single country has recognised them as independent entities. Read similar cases: "The DNR and LNR gained independence from Ukraine", "Kyiv does not want rebel-held territories to rejoin Ukraine".