DISINFO: Germany's response on Navalny affair does not prove poisoning
DISINFORMATION CASE DETAILS
  • Outlet: sputniknews.gr (archived)*
  • Date of publication: January 17, 2021
  • Outlet language(s): Greek
  • Reported in: Issue 227
  • Countries / regions discussed: Germany, Russia
Tags:
novichok Alexei Navalny

DISINFO: Germany's response on Navalny affair does not prove poisoning

SUMMARY

Germany has sent to Russia a response on its questions about the Navalny affair. However, there are no new substantial elements which could prove the alleged poisoning of opposition leader Alexey Navalny.

RESPONSE

This is part of a pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny by trying to portray it as entirely unconnected to Russia and denying Russia's well-documented role in the use of Novichok.

It is not true that the German authorities did not find proof of Navalny's poisoning. 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.

Germany's government handed transcripts of interviews with Alexei Navalny to Russia, as part of the Kremlin's probe into the poisoning of the activist, a Justice Ministry spokesman said on Saturday. The Kremlin had made previous requests for legal assistance, but Germany's government delayed the response, referring to Navalny's poor state of health, which kept him from being questioned. The activist was brought to Germany for treatment after the poisoning attack.

The ministry has demanded a thorough probe into Navalny's poisoning and made the interrogation protocols available to Russia's government. The Kremlin now has all the information needed to carry out a criminal investigation into the poisoning in August — including blood, clothing and tissue samples — the spokesman said.

This narrative 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 daughter in Salisbury in 2018, a case where there is strong evidence of the involvement of Russian intelligence operatives and high-level Russian officials. Trying to deflect any Russian responsibility for it is a frequent Kremlin tactic.

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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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