This is part of a pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny by trying to portray it as entirely unconnected to Russia and denying Russia's well-documented role in the use of Novichok.
Russian chemist Dr. Vil Mirzayanov said that Novichok production was only refined in the U.S.S.R. and Russia and that Russia had to be behind previous attacks because it “is the country that invented it, has the experience, turned it into a weapon... has fully mastered the cycle.” An investigation by Bellingcat has discovered evidence that Russia continued its Novichok development programme long beyond the officially announced closure date.
Furthermore, Navalny’s team found bottles in the hotel room where he had stayed in the Russian city in Tomsk-Siberia, as they documented in a video posted afterwards in Navalny’s Instagram account.
Georgy Alburov, a member of Navalny's team, reported that German laboratory found traces of Novichok on the bottle, which means that “this was done before he left his room to go to the airport”.
This narrative is part of a pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on the poisoning of Navalny, which follows the same playbook that the one deployed after the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury in 2018, a case where there is strong evidence of the involvement of Russian intelligence operatives and high-level Russian officials. By trying to deflect any Russian responsibility for it, a frequent Kremlin tactic.
See other examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives on Alexei Navalny’s poisoning in our database, such as claims that only caffeine and alcohol were found in his blood, that the West hopes that Navalny dies to have an excuse for new sanctions, or that Western accusations about Navalny’s case are as false as they were about Sergei Skripal and Alexander Litvinenko.