Disinfo: Merkel lied about Navalny's poisoning

Summary

A wiretapped call between Berlin and Warsaw showed that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s statements about Alexei Navalny were false.

Disproof

This is an effort to cast a shadow of doubt on the tests conducted in Germany that led Chancellor Angela Merkel to say that Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was poisoned by a Novichok type nerve agent. However, no solid proof is given against Merkel's statements. There was only an alleged conversation between some Mike and Nick published on 4 September by the Belarusian security services. The conversation was made public with a Russian voice-over on Friday on Belarusian state TV that has provoked an avalanche of jokes and laughter on Russian and Belarusian social media. The German government dismissed Aleksander Lukashenko's statement as being untrue. An official representative of the German government told RBC: “Of course, the statement of Aleksander Lukashenko does not correspond to reality.” The Polish Foreign Ministry also rejected reports by the Belarusian authorities about an alleged telephone conversation between subscribers in Warsaw and Berlin regarding the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. In response to an inquiry by the Russian TASS agency, the Polish Foreign Ministry stated on September 7:" “We refute the Belarusian reports about the alleged telephone conversation on the Warsaw-Berlin line, in which the authorities of the two countries allegedly admitted that Alexei Navalny was not poisoned." This resembles a recurring pattern of pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets, which opt to dismiss a compelling evidence by presenting conspiracy theories - see more on the MH17 case, the Skripal case or the Litvinenko Murder. The test proving Navalny's poisoning was conducted in a special German military lab, according to the government spokesman Steffen Seibert. Navalny was certainly not suffering from low blood sugar, as the Russian doctors who first treated his mysterious illness had claimed, or even a standard detective-novel poison like arsenic or cyanide. It was something far more dangerous, requiring the attention of the Army’s chemical weapons specialists.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 210
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 03/09/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Greek
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Poland, Germany, Belarus, Russia
  • Keywords: novichok, Alexei Navalny, Intelligence services, Alexander Lukashenko, Angela Merkel
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Disinfo: In Belarus there are signs of a colour revolution, but a hybrid one

Today in Belarus we see signs of a colour revolution, but a hybrid one. It combines Hong Kong’s 2019-2020 scheme, and in terms of its overall coup strategy, the colour revolution in Belarus is very similar and almost replicates the Venezuelan scenario first used by the Americans in 2019. It is a technology that is almost never missed. The elements of the Ukrainian Maidan are clearly visible as the main outline in the events taking place in Belarus.

Disproof

This is part of an ongoing Russian disinformation campaign on Belarus based on recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives, such as accusing other countries of interference and portraying popular protests against electoral fraud in the country as a Western-led colour revolution. The protests in Belarus erupted to contest the results of the presidential elections in Belarus that took place on the 9 August, which are considered fraudulent by a large part of Belarusian society. The European Union has also stated that the elections were neither free nor fair. There is no evidence that the protests in Belarus are funded and organised externally. Pro-Kremlin media frequently use disinformation narratives about popular protests around the world allegedly incited and funded by the US and other Western states. It has been applied, among others, to protests in Ukraine, Venezuela, Georgia, and Belarus, as well as to present a deceiving narrative on the aggressive West constantly preparing new coups. See similar cases claiming that the protests in Belarus are a colour revolution conducted according to a Maidan scenario and that the West wants to prepare Maidan in Belarus.

Disinfo: Colour revolutions in the post-Soviet countries were aimed at separating those from Russia

As a rule, all the colour revolutions organised in the post-Soviet countries were aimed at separating those countries from the Russian Federation… Unfortunately, all these revolutions are either openly anti-Russian, and more often they are just such a slow-moving Russophobia, or even an attempt to move away completely from Russia.

Disproof

This is a conspiracy which is consistent with a number of recurring pro-Kremlin propaganda narratives about the aggressive West, its attempts to encircle Russia and organise colour revolutions in the post-Soviet space and about the West's attempts to disrupt Russias ties with other post-Soviet countries. This narrative portrays any spontaneous disorders and civil uprisings in other states, especially the former Soviet republics, as West-funded Anti-Russian and Russophobic "coups" and attempts by the West to overthrow regimes in post-Soviet states and in other regions. The narrative has been applied, among others, to report about protests in Ukraine, Venezuela, Georgia, Armenia and Belarus, as well as to portray the West as an aggressive actor constantly preparing new coups. Read a similar case claiming that global liberal elite stages Russophobic events throughout the world, that the West wants to turn Belarus into an anti-Russian outpost, that the US backed the coup in Ukraine in 2014, that the protests in Belarus are a colour revolution conducted according to a Maidan scenario and that the West wants to prepare Maidan in Belarus, or that the masters of the colour revolution in Armenia are only interested in creating problems for Russia.

Disinfo: Ukrainian militants are staying in Belarus to carry out a coup d'etat

About 200 extremists trained in Ukraine are currently in Belarus. Ukrainian militants are staying in Belarus to carry out a coup d’etat. At the same time, they are actively cooperating with the Polish special services. The coup d’etat in Belarus is carried out under their leadership. They involve their partners from Ukraine to do the dirty work.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Belarus protests and about protests in post-communist countries in general, presenting them as being organised and controlled from abroad. Neither in the text nor elsewhere is there any evidence that foreign forces are involved in the protests in Belarus. Large-scale protests began in Minsk on August 9 against the results of the presidential election, and then in other cities. People revolted against what they call election fraud but also against the aggressiveness of the police, who arrested and ill-treated hundreds of protestors. Ukraine's foreign minister Dmitro Kuleba reacted to Sergey Lavrov's claims about the 200 Ukrainian extremists in Belarus:

“I don't even want to comment on this nonsense. The 200 Ukrainian extremists that Ukraine allegedly sent to Belarus to destabilise the situation, and the training camps for extremists in Ukraine are the fruit of the painful imagination of those who provided such information to my Russian colleague Sergey Lavrov."

On the other hand, Russia has openly claimed it is willing to intervene in Belarus if the situation escalates. Read a similar case claiming that the West is preparing a colour revolution in Belarus.