Disinfo: Navalny could have been poisoned with Novichok in Germany

Summary

There is every reason to believe that Navalny could have been exposed to Novichok in Germany or on his way there.

How else can the sudden appearance of toxins in Navalny’s blood samples be explained? After all, the tests which Navalny underwent in Russia found no trace of toxic substances.

Despite no solid evidence proving this, Russia was very quickly accused of using a banned nerve agent and punished with EU sanctions.

Disproof

This claim is part of a wider set of conspiracy theories promulgated by pro-Kremlin media in relation to the August 2020 poisoning of Alexei Navalny. It also advances the recurring pro-Kremlin narrative casting a substantial chunk of Western decision-making as motivated by anti-Russian sentiment.

This claim is made without evidence and paints a truly remarkable version of events, according to which Navalny fell ill in Russia and slipped into a coma for reasons totally unrelated to poison. He was then flown to Germany where he was administered a deadly nerve agent, and then immediately treated both for poisoning with said agent and for the mysterious illness he had developed back in Russia, resulting in his full recovery.

Clinical findings(opens in a new tab) at the Charité hospital indicated that Navalny 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(opens in a new tab) in the blood samples of Alexei Navalny.

These findings were later independently corroborated by labs in France and Sweden, and finally confirmed by the OPCW. The OPCW stated that "[t]he biomarkers of the cholinesterase inhibitor found in Mr Navalny’s blood and urine samples have similar structural characteristics to the toxic chemicals belonging to schedules 1.A.14 and 1.A.15."

Pro-Kremlin media proxies have used similar techniques to obscure Russia's role in the 2018 Skripal poisoning and in the 2020 Navalny poisoning. See here for an overview of parallel narratives which pro-Kremlin media have employed in both incidents.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 220
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 13/11/2020
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: Russia, Germany
  • Keywords: novichok, Chemical weapons/attack, Alexei Navalny, Russophobia

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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