Disinfo: Germany could be the real target of intoxication of Navalny; money trails point to the US

Summary

The intoxication of Russian blogger Alexei Navalny has a very clear goal, and in order to know who could be behind it, one only must know who benefits from the event that caused his metabolic disorder, produced by a sharp fall of his blood sugar levels, which the West is promoting as an alleged poisoning. In this match, Germany could be the real target, and the money trail points directly to the US: its defence budget for 2021 includes imposing sanctions to prevent the finalisation of the Nord Stream 2 works, for which there are only 160 kilometres left until its completion.

Disproof

This is part of a pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. The claim that Navalny suffered an “intoxication” or a “metabolic disorder” presented now by the West as “an alleged poisoning” is false, since the use of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group against the Russian dissident has been established beyond any doubt by a specialist Bundeswehr laboratory.

The campaign is following the same playbook that the one deployed after the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daugther in Salisbury in 2018, a case where there is strong evidence of the involvement of Russian intelligence operatives and high-level Russian officials. By claiming that is the US and not Russia who benefits from this incident, pro-Kremlin media are trying to deflect any Russian responsibility for it, a frequent Kremlin tactic. Also, the use of multiple and simultaneous versions of an event involving questionable actions by the Russian government or its allies, in order to confound citizens about the actual truth, is a recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation strategy, already seen in the cases of the MH17 downing, the illegal annexation of Crimea, the murder attempt against the Skripals or chemical attacks in Syria.

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 US wanted to use it to block Russia's vaccine against coronavirus, that the West hopes that he 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.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 211
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 12/09/2020
  • Language/target audience: Spanish, Castilian
  • Country: Russia, US, Germany
  • Keywords: Nord Stream 2, 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.

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British propaganda tries to dilute the failure of the AstraZeneca vaccine against Sputnik V

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Disproof

This is part of a pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V, which was met with scepticism and criticism, even by Russian specialists in the country.

Contrary to the claim, pauses in clinical testing of vaccines are normal and the reaction of AstraZeneca is proof that a strong security procedure is being followed in the search for a vaccine against Covid-19. In early September 2020, AstraZeneca and other western developers of Covid-19 vaccines issued a joint public pledge to maintain safety standards and adhere to high scientific and ethical standards in the conduct of clinical studies and in the manufacturing processes. AstraZeneca trials resumed in the UK only three days after the initial pause.

Global centres of destabilisation are using new methods in colour revolution in Belarus

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Disproof

This is part of an ongoing pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign depicting the protests in Belarus as a "colour revolution" organised and funded from abroad, by Western states or "global élites". The article adds a new twist to the narrative by claiming that "colour revolutions" are constantly evolving and that new methods are being used in Belarus’s "colour revolution".

There is no evidence that the protests in Belarus are funded or organised externally. The protests in Belarus erupted to contest the results of the presidential election in Belarus that took place on 9 August and are considered fraudulent by a large part of Belarusian society. The European Union has also stated that the elections were neither free nor fair.

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Disproof

The article provides no evidence to support its sweeping and apocalyptic claims that Western civilisation may be dead. It repeats a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that seeks to discredit Western liberal-democratic societies by portraying them as decadent and  immoral and claiming that they are collapsing. The article also contains a related pro-Kremlin narrative that depicts the racial justice protests in the US as a civil war, or as the disintegration or systemic collapse of American society. There is also a clear anti-Semitic tone to this claim.

The central values and achievements of the modern West —  liberal democracy, the rule of law,  human rights, equality before the law, freedom of conscience and expression, rationalism, self-criticism, the disinterested search for truth, the separation of church and state —  are still very much alive and continue to be  a source of inspiration for people around the world.