Disinfo: Navalny is an agent of the Russian special services

Summary

Russian opposition blogger Alexei Navalny works for the Kremlin, causing confusion and vacillation in the ranks of anti-government forces. That is why Navalny always manages to get away with it, and the criminal cases initiated against him do not end with the liberal’s imprisonment.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the Navalny poisoning.

Anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny has long been the most prominent face of Russian opposition to President Vladimir Putin. His candidacy in the 2018 presidential election was banned by authorities over his conviction by a Russian court of embezzlement, which bars him from running for office. He has been arrested and imprisoned several times during his political career.

On August 20 the prominent Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny fell ill during a flight and the plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Omsk, where doctors said that he was in a coma and that they were trying to save his life. Since then he has been transferred to Berlin and is receiving treatment at Berlin's Charite Hospital.

On September 3, 2020, the German government published a statement that described how a military laboratory, certified by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), had found traces of the Novichok nerve agent in samples taken from Navalny. Later, German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave a special briefing. She told reporters that “There is unequivocal proof of the presence of this agent in the samples. It is therefore clear that Alexei Navalny is the victim of a crime.” The German government has briefed its allies in the European Union and NATO and plans to provide information about its findings to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

The European Union condemned the poisoning of Alexei Navalny in the strongest possible terms.

Read similar cases claiming that the US hopes that the Navalny case will lead to the cancellation of Nord Stream 2, that the West will falsely accuse Russia of poisoning Navalny, as with Skripal and Litvinenko and that the West has an interest in the death of Navalny to launch a new wave of sanctions against Russia.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 210
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 08/09/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: Alexei Navalny

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.

see more

Russophobic Western media push narrative of Putin’s role in Navalny poisoning

A new narrative in the Western media claims that the Russian President Vladimir Putin is the mastermind who poisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny with a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group, reviving an old trope used to stoke Russophobia. […] In 2018, similarly unverifiable claims were made about the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in the UK and used to whip up fresh paranoia about Russia and Putin.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russophobia and the poisoning of Alexei Navalny.

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 could have caused his coma himself

Navalny could have caused his coma himself. A few days before his hospitalization, blogger Alexei Navalny had problems with nutrition and digestion. The patient also used some kinds of diets. Navalny was trying to lose weight. The doctors received this data from the persons accompanying the blogger.

In the two days that Navalny spent in a coma in the Omsk ambulance hospital No. 1, doctors were able to normalise carbohydrate metabolism in the blogger’s body. These parameters have nothing to do with Novichok and have nothing to do with it.

Disproof

No evidence given. To prove the allegation that Navalny "had problems with nutrition and digestion" the disinformation outlet refers to certain "data from the persons accompanying the blogger". But the persons accompanying Navalny made the opposite claims. A spokesperson for Navalny, one of two persons accompanying him on the plane when he fell ill, Kira Yarmysh, told media that Nvalny felt very well the day before he fell into the coma, the same morning and even minutes before it happened. No other claims were made by another colleagues of Navalny or his family. No evidence is given that, if proven that Navalny was on diet regime, it could lead to a severe sudden coma.

Pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets give a variety of mutually exclusive versions of what happened to Navalny (for example, that he poisoned himself with alcohol, pills or that his poisoning profits the EU or even another opposition leader Mikhail Khodorkovsky). Similar techniques were used to refute the Skripals' poisoning with nerve agent Novichok by GRU agents.

In 2014 in Ukraine a Junta came to power in Kiev, created new legislation on languages and triggered a purely internal conflict in the country

In Ukraine, there is a conflict which is really internal, which arises from the legislation adopted by the new junta in Ukraine on languages. There was a snowball effect that has been created around of this question of languages. 

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about a coup and military Junta in Kiev and as a result the alleged civil war in Ukraine based on languages.

The war in eastern Ukraine is not a civil conflict, but a well-documented act of aggression by the Russian armed forces, ongoing since February 2014. There wasn't any new regulation on language decided by Kiev then. Certainly, on February 23, 2014, right after then-President Viktor Yanukovych fled the country the Verkhovna Rada voted for the abolition of the bill “On the principles of the state language policy” from 2012 and known as the “Kivalov-Kolesnichenko language law”. However, neither then-acting President Oleksandr Turchynov nor the subsequent president, Petro Poroshenko, signed or vetoed the law abolishing the Kivalov-Kolesnichenko language law. This means it was still in force until February 2018,when it was ruled unconstitutional by Ukraine’s Constitutional Court because of systematic procedural violations during its adoption.