Disinfo: Germany uses Navalny case in order to interfere in Russia's domestic affairs

Summary

Germany uses Navalny case in order to interfere in Russia's domestic affairs.

The German government continues to abuse the situation surrounding Alexei Navalny in order to interfere in Russia's affairs and fulfill its foreign policy ambitions. In this case, it consists of "destabilising the domestic political situation in our country" by building up a victim image for the Russian blogger.

Furthermore, the Russian authorities see the construction of the thoroughly questionable narrative around the Navalny case also as an attempt by the West - especially Germany - to ensure credible deniability for itself in this matter. Primarily, it should be noted that Berlin is willing to raise the issue of Navalny's detention in order to distract from questions about the unproven accusation of poisoning with the military toxin Novichok, which are still "open and highly inconvenient" for Germany.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Germany and poisoning of Alexei Navalny.

EU in general and Germany, in particular, do not seek political destabilisation of Russia. The EU, its member states and most of the world community demand that Russia fulfil its obligations as a member of the UN, the Council of Europe, the OSCE and other international organisations, as well as Russia's own legislation. These demands cannot be dismissed as 'interference in Russia's domestic affairs' as it is claimed in the disinformation message.

Prominent Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny was arrested and shortly after sentenced to prison following his return to Russia from Germany, where he was treated for poisoning with a Novichok-type chemical nerve agent. The European Union has condemned his arrest and demanded his immediate release.

The question of Navalny's poisoning is neither "open", nor "highly inconvenient" for Germany. There is irrefutable evidence that Alexei Navalny was poisoned with a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group yet inside Russia. On August 20, 2020, 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 fighting to save his life. From Omsk, he was transferred to Berlin, where 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 Navalny.

On 14 December 2020, a special investigation by Bellingcat, The Insider, CNN and Der Spiegel identified members of the Russian FSB unit involved in the attempt on Navalny’s life. According to The New York Times, the report was also consistent with the information on the case gathered by German intelligence services. Bellingcat also provided a detailed account of the methods used to identify the FSB operatives. A week later, on 21 December, Navalny disclosed a recorded conversation in which a member of the suspected FSB poisoning squad describes how his unit carried out, and attempted to clean up evidence of, his poisoning.

By claiming that Germany presents "unproven accusation of poisoning with the military toxin Novichok”, pro-Kremlin media aim to deflect any responsibility for Alexei Navalny’s poisoning in Russia, his politically motivated arrest and the repression of demonstrations in his support.

The European Union has sanctioned six individuals and one Russian entity over the use of chemical weapons in an assassination attempt on the Russian opposition figure.

Read similar disinfo cases alleging that new EU sanctions against Russia are a "circus" and a "fake story", that the West declared Russia as its strategic enemy and that the West needs cases like Navalny to fill its information wars.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 242
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 16/04/2021
  • Article language(s) German
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia, Germany, EU
  • Keywords: Alexei Navalny, novichok, West, Chemical weapons/attack, Anti-Russian, Destabilising Russia
see more

Disinfo: Conflict in Ukraine is internal, Russia is not a party to it

The reality on the line of contact of forces in Donbas is frightening, the provocations of the Ukrainian military are not single, but multiple. Russia, not being a party to the conflict, cannot ensure a comprehensive ceasefire in Donbas, but uses its influence to implement agreements. Moscow has repeatedly stated that it is not a party to the internal Ukrainian conflict and is interested in Kyiv overcoming the political and economic crisis.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine.

There is irrefutable evidence of direct Russian military involvement in eastern Ukraine. The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has stated that “the information available suggests that the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February 2014 when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government".

Disinfo: 150 Turkish troops arrive in Eastern Ukraine

150 Turkish troops have arrived in Eastern Ukraine. Some of them were spotted in the city of Mariupol near the front line. They look like special operations forces. They are probably those who will be coordinating the efforts of militants in Northern Syria, whom Turkey is going to recruit in Ukraine. NATO military specialists and equipment are being amassed near Mariupol. Turkey is trying to draw Ukraine into a big war with Russia, although Ankara itself will not take part in it.

Disproof

This is a recurring propaganda narrative from pro-Kremlin media claiming that NATO troops are warring in Donbas together with the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

In reality, Kyiv and Ankara are developing military cooperation, and Turkey sent a batch of Bayraktar TB2 drones to Ukraine last year. The first reconnaissance flight was performed over Donbas on 9 April 2021. But there is no NATO military presence in Donbas. Some NATO top commanders visit Kyiv and hold talks with Ukrainian leaders to discuss military cooperation and plans for Ukraine's integration into the Alliance, in particular within the framework of Enhanced Opportunities Partnership (EOP) status. NATO is committed to supporting Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. However, any military involvement by the Alliance’s troops in Donbas is out of the question.

Disinfo: Lithuania is spending less than 2 per cent of GDP on defence

Lithuania falls behind Latvia and Estonia by correlation of defence spending and gross domestic product (GDP). It spends less than 2 per cent of GDP (as recommended by NATO guidelines) on defence.

Disproof

Disinformation about Lithuania.

Statistics from Lithuania's Ministry of Defence show that Lithuania's expenditure on defence is more than 2 per cent of its GDP. Lithuanian military spending reached NATO guideline standards in 2019.