Disinfo: Navalny may have poisoned himself with psychiatric medication

Summary

Doctors at the Charite clinic have confirmed the presence of lithium in Alexei Navalny’s blood upon his arrival in Germany. Lithium can only enter the bloodstream via administration of specialised medications which are almost exclusively used to treat mental disorders. When taken with certain other medications or alcohol, lithium-containing drugs may produce an adverse reaction on par with novichok poisoning.

Disproof

The claim advances a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative concerning the state-sponsored poisoning of Russian activist Alexei Navalny.

The present "scoop" is the latest addition to the list of substances and conditions which, according to pro-Kremlin outlets, could have caused Navalny's illness. Earlier such reports have cited moonshine, psychosomatic stress, overzealous dieting, low blood sugar, and a flare-up of an unspecified chronic illness as possible culprits.

That said, even if any of the above produced symptoms identical to those of novichok poisoning (which they don't), this would not explain the presence of novichok in Navalny's blood, as independently confirmed by Germany, France, Sweden, and the OPCW.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 227
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 12/01/2021
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Germany, Russia
  • Keywords: novichok, Alexei Navalny, Chemical weapons/attack
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