The West rushed to accuse Russia of poisoning Navalny with a “Novichok-type substance”, but did Russia really have reasons to get rid of him? The reaction of western officials has been disproportionately quickly and emotive compared to the reaction in Russia itself, where despite his prominent position in opposition circles there were no protest actions. So one can ask: where is this western solidarity coming? NATO allies and their supporters, from the German government to the US and UK administrations, quickly echoed each other adopting the same narrative. The similarity of the Navalny case to previous unproven poisoning accusations doesn’t seem to bother western politicians or media. The obvious question is: why those incidents take place right in the moment in which Russia is about to secure an important agreement or start a promising project with its western partners? For months, the German government resisted US attempts to stop the Nord Stream 2 project to deliver Russian natural gas to Germany. Now there are voices supporting the cancellation of this big project that utter the two new magical words: Navalny and Novichok.
If the Russian state had tried to murder Alexei Navalny, they would have never allowed his comatose body to be taken by plane to Germany. He would have died in Russian hospitals, where nobody could find “traces of Novichok” in a NATO capital. If Russia was responsible, for sure the last weapon in the world that it would have chosen would be Novichok: in the post-Skripal age, any other method would be preferable.
A butter knife, a gun, a speeding car, a traffic accident… After Skripal, there would be hundreds of preferable and more reliable methods. Navaly is already the third Russian in a row that, allegedly attacked by a deadly “military-grade nervous agent”, mysteriously doesn’t die.
This is part of a pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
The use of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group against the Russian dissident has been established beyond any doubt by a specialist Bundeswehr laboratory. The disinformation campaign 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.
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 Nord Stream 2 and 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.