Disinfo: The Germans invented the bottle with Novichok to hide that they contaminated Navalny’s body fluids in Berlin

Summary

The German narrative soon faced contradictions, after Russian toxicologists that had treated Navalny first said that after testing all kind of substances found no trace of poison and concluded that his coma was caused a pre-existing medical condition, presumably diabetes. They also said that they have original samples of his body fluids. It is this detail what seems to have forced the Germans to re-elaborate their narrative to include the new element of a poisoned bottle of water. If the Russians do have biological samples from Navalny that show no trace of toxins, the German version crumbles as an invention that could only mean that the alleged detection of Novichok was the result of a deliberate contamination of his body fluids while he was being treated in a hospital in Berlin.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory not based in any evidence, as the use of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group against Russian dissident Alexei Navalny suggests. The presence of Novichok in Navalny’s body was established beyond any doubt by a specialist Bundeswehr laboratory. Navalny’s team found the bottle in the hotel room where he had stayed in the Russian city in Tomsk, and carefully picked it in order to get it analysed abroad since they thought that it wouldn’t be investigated in Russia, as they documented in a video posted afterwards in Navalny’s Instagram account.

This is part of a pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on the poisoning of Navalny, which follows the same playbook that the one deployed after the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daugther in Salisbury in 2018, a case where there is strong evidence of the involvement of Russian intelligence operatives and high-level Russian officials. By claiming that is the US and not Russia who benefits from this incident, pro-Kremlin media are trying to deflect any Russian responsibility for it, a frequent Kremlin tactic. Also, the use of multiple and simultaneous versions of an event involving questionable actions by the Russian government or its allies, in order to confound citizens about the actual truth, is a recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation strategy, already seen in the cases of the MH17 downing, the illegal annexation of Crimea, the murder attempt against the Skripals or chemical attacks in Syria.

See other examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives on Alexei Navalny’s poisoning in our database, such as claims that only caffeine and alcohol were found in his blood, that the US wanted to use it to block Russia's vaccine against coronavirus, that the West hopes that he dies to have an excuse for new sanctions, or that Western accusations about Navalny’s case are as false as they were about Sergei Skripal and Alexander Litvinenko.

This disinformation message appeared in the same article as the claim that “Attack on Navalny was a false flag operation” and that “To the West, Navalny is more valuable dead than alive as a propaganda tool”

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 212
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 09/09/2020
  • Language/target audience: Spanish, Castilian
  • Country: Russia, Germany
  • Keywords: novichok, false flag, 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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To the West, Navalny is more valuable dead than alive as a propaganda tool

As an opposition figure that for a long time has been praised and exaggerated by the West as the nemesis of the Russian president Vladimir Putin, Alexei Navalny is more valuable dead than alive as a propaganda tool. With the failure of its false flag narrative, the temptation may be to drastically increase the stakes by modifying the screenplay and having Navalny “succumbing” to Novichok.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory not based in any evidence, aiming to avoid authorities from answering difficult questions and conducting investigation, as the use of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group against Russian dissident Alexei Navalny suggests. The presence of Novichok in Navalny’s body was established beyond any doubt by a specialist Bundeswehr laboratory.

This is part of a pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on the poisoning of Navalny, which follows the same playbook that the one deployed after the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daugther in Salisbury in 2018, a case where there is strong evidence of the involvement of Russian intelligence operatives and high-level Russian officials. By claiming that is the US and not Russia who benefits from this incident, pro-Kremlin media are trying to deflect any Russian responsibility for it, a frequent Kremlin tactic. Also, the use of multiple and simultaneous versions of an event involving questionable actions by the Russian government or its allies, in order to confound citizens about the actual truth, is a recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation strategy, already seen in the cases of the MH17 downing, the illegal annexation of Crimea, the murder attempt against the Skripals or chemical attacks in Syria.

Attack on Navalny was a false flag operation, just as the Skripal affair

The attack on Russian opposition member Alexei Navalny was a false flag operation whose lies were quickly exposed, forcing its authors to invent new arguments to cover them. As with the supposed attempt on the life of the MI6 double agent Sergei Skripal, this incident is a false flag operation to foment western hostility and sanctions against Moscow.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory not based in any evidence, aiming to deny any involvement of Russian authorities in the incident, as the use of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group against Russian dissident Alexei Navalny suggests. The presence of Novichok in Navalny’s body was established beyond any doubt by a specialist Bundeswehr laboratory.

This is part of a pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on the poisoning of Navalny, which follows the same playbook that the one deployed after the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daugther in Salisbury in 2018, a case where there is strong evidence of the involvement of Russian intelligence operatives and high-level Russian officials. By claiming that is the US and not Russia who benefits from this incident, pro-Kremlin media are trying to deflect any Russian responsibility for it, a frequent Kremlin tactic. Also, the use of multiple and simultaneous versions of an event involving questionable actions by the Russian government or its allies, in order to confound citizens about the actual truth, is a recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation strategy, already seen in the cases of the MH17 downing, the illegal annexation of Crimea, the murder attempt against the Skripals or chemical attacks in Syria.

NATO wants return to Cold War conditions

NATO wants the conditions of the Cold War back.

NATO has doubled its power within six years not far from Russia’s borders. The North Atlantic Alliance wants the conditions of the Cold War back: military facilities in Eastern Europe are being strengthened, missile defence facilities are being expanded.

The NATO group in the Baltic States will certainly not diminish. This kind of cooperation with the USA is too convenient for the rulers in the Baltic states. It demonstrates to voters that efforts are being made to counter the ‘threat from Russia’, thereby concealing all other issues such as the miserable economic development, the under-utilised Baltic ports, the resentment of the Russian-speaking minorities.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative, portraying NATO as having a belligerent agenda against Russia and claiming that the “Russian threat” is a false idea.

Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has introduced sweeping changes to its membership and working practices – changes made clear by its adoption of new Strategic Concepts in 1999 and 2010. Accusations that NATO has retained its Cold War purpose ignore the reality of those changes.