Disinfo: Bellingcat investigation of Navalny poisoning is embarrassing anti-Russian agitation in its purest form

Summary

At least eight agents of the Russian secret service FSB were apparently involved in the poison attack on Alexei Navalny, according to research by SPIEGEL, Bellingcat and other partners. After naming the five authors that the Hamburg-based news magazine claims to have brought in for this story, averagely educated readers actually expect concrete evidence such as: Ivan the Terrible dripped a dose of Novichok into Alexei Navalny’s nostril while agent Grigory Rasputin held him down.

However, even this sensational story is nothing more than embarrassing anti-Russian agitation in its purest form.

Disproof

This is part of a pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny after the use of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group was established beyond any doubt by a specialist Bundeswehr laboratory as well as to label recent investigations by Bellingcat, Der Spiegel, The Insider as inherently Russophobic and Anti-Russian.

A joint investigation between Bellingcat and The Insider, in cooperation with Der Spiegel and CNN, has discovered voluminous telecom and travel data that implicates Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) in the poisoning of the prominent Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny. According to the Bellingcat investigation, the August 2020 poisoning in the Siberian city of Tomsk appears to have happened after years of surveillance, which began in 2017 shortly after Navalny first announced his intention to run for president of Russia. Throughout 2017, and again in 2019 and 2020, FSB operatives from a clandestine unit specialised in working with poisonous substances shadowed Navalny during his trips across Russia, traveling alongside him on more than 30 overlapping flights to the same destinations. It is also possible there were earlier attempts to poison Navalny, including one in the Western Russian city of Kaliningrad only a month before the near-fatal Novichok poisoning in Siberia.

See related disinformation cases alleging that Russophobic Western media push narrative of Putin’s role in Navalny poisoning, that there is no evidence of Russian poisoning of Skripal, that The West punishes Russia for having chosen Putin as a president again, that British authorities are exploiting the Skripal-case for anti-Russian propaganda or that Merkel’s statement about Navalny’s poisoning is a falsification to curb Putin’s desire to interfere in Belarus’ affairs.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 225
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 14/12/2020
  • Outlet language(s) German
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Germany
  • Keywords: Alexei Navalny
see more

International Criminal Court demonises Russia in the Ukrainian conflict

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court is trying not only to make Russia a participant in the conflict but also to impose on Russia the duties of an “occupying power” both in relation to Crimea (she directly writes: “Russia’s annexation of Crimea”) and in relation to the eastern regions of Ukraine.

The prosecutor fulfils an order for the legal demonisation of Russia in the Ukrainian conflict. And she does it legally so rudely that there is no doubt about the unscrupulous nature of her actions.

The individuals who committed a coup d’etat in the country and used violence against a part of their own population are regarded in The Hague as legitimate authority!

Disproof

This is an example of recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Ukraine and, in particular, the examination by the International Criminal Court of the crimes committed in Ukraine during the 2013-2014 protests in Crimea and Donbas.

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) did not demonise Russia. The Prosecutor did not call Russia an occupying power in Crimea or Donbas. In the statement, the Prosecutor mentioned that in order to establish the truth, the ICC is going to cooperate with the authorities of Ukraine and Russia equally.

AstraZeneca fails to create a vaccine without Russia

AstraZeneca, realising that they, the British, do not succeed with their vaccine, took a reasonable step and said: let’s be together. And now they are working with the Russian Direct Investment Fund to really be able to fight the coronavirus.

Disproof

A narrative, overstating the cooperation between the Gamaleya Research Institute and British AstraZeneca.

AstraZeneca's Russian subsidiary announced that it plans to begin a clinical trial programme to assess the safety and immunogenicity of a combination of COVID-19 vaccines (AZD1222, developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and Sputnik V, developed by Russian Gamaleya Research institute).

Sanctions are unproductive because Russia is not a part in the Ukrainian conflict

Heads of EU Member States agreed to extend sanctions against Russia. The relations between Moscow and West had deteriorated due to the situation in Ukraine. After the referendum, Crimea became part of the Russian Federation. West accused Russia of interference into affairs of Ukraine and implemented sanctions against Moscow. Russia answered and changed the vector of import. Russian authorities stressed that negotiations with Russia from positions of sanctions are unproductive. Russia many times affirmed that it does not participate in the Ukrainian conflict and is not a side in Minsk peace agreements.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the war in Ukraine, illegal annexation of Crimea and Western sanctions against Russia.

Crimea is a part of Ukraine, however, it was illegally annexed by Russia. The so-called referendum of March 16, 2014, was illegitimate under international law. No international body recognises it. Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum.