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
  • Language/target audience: Greek
  • Country: Russia, Belarus, Germany, Poland
  • Keywords: novichok, Alexei Navalny, Alexander Lukashenko, Intelligence services, Angela Merkel

Disclaimer

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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The West exploits Navalny’s case to impose sanctions on Russia

The case of the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is exploited by the West to impose sanctions against Moscow. Russia is unnecessarily and falsely accused. If that was the goal, the Russian state had many ways to get rid of Navalny. It could have orchestrated a delayed hospitalisation or send a killer to finish the job at the Omsk clinic. It could have also used a more effective poison or just set up an accident, instead of risking failure.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on Navalny poisoning.

A prominent Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny fell ill during a flight from Siberia to Moscow on the 20th of August. Initially hospitalized in Omsk,  at the request of his family he was transferred to Charité hospital in Berlin.

Navalny has, apart from a hangover, no symptoms of poisoning

Navalny has, apart from a hangover, no symptoms of poisoning. It looks like the German authorities will have to explain to the Russian authorities how the stable patient Navalny was “poisoned”.

Disproof

An unsupported statement that Navalny was not poisoned at all. The claims are also in stark contrast to the official statements of the German government, which clearly speak of Navalny's poisoning by the military-grade chemical nerve agent Novichok.

"The Berlin Charité Hospital has commissioned specialised toxicologists from the German Bundeswehr to examine various samples from Mr. Navalny. The special laboratory of the German Bundeswehr has delivered a clear result: Alexei Navalny was the victim of an attack with a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group. This poison can be detected without a doubt in the samples."

Toxicologists have concluded that Russian dissident and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny was poisoned with a military-grade chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group. The German government condemned the attack in the strongest possible terms, as did EU officials and leaders of the EU member states: France, Italy, Estonia; all demanding that Russian authorities explain how an illegal weapon of mass destruction has been used against an opposition activist in Russia.

Earlier, Navalny was treated in a hospital in Omsk but was later transferred to the Berlin Charité hospital. Only after hours of back and forth did the physicians in Omsk drop their objections to transport to Germany. The Omsk health officials claimed Navalny had tested negative for cholinesterase inhibitors.

Poland has accepted the “false history”, which is used for Americanisation of this country

A new, pro-Western and Capitalist Poland was supposed to turn away from its history, uncritically accepting the Western version of history and “reconciling” with Germany. In this way, under the pretext of propaganda gestures, Poland enabled Germany and the USA to establish control over the Polish economy and media.

False history is used as a cover for the Americanisation of Poland. That was how the so-called “historical policy” emerged – it is realised by the parties and organisations representing American interests.

Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism – it repeatedly accuses the Baltic states, Ukraine and Poland of the “falsification and re-writing” of their history. The Baltic states and Ukraine are continuously accused of their support for the Nazi or Fascist ideology. Any disagreement with the official Kremlin’s view on the history of WWII is automatically labelled by Russia as support for “Nazism”.

The official position of Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic states regarding WWII is based on facts, shared by the predominant majority of historians. Both Nazi Germany and the Stalinist USSR were harsh totalitarian regimes, which directly caused the deaths of tens of millions of people. Secondly, these two regimes are mutually responsible for the outbreak of WWII.