Disinfo: Navalny poisoning: A massive disinformation campaign against Russia 

Summary

Groundless attacks on Russia continue. A massive disinformation campaign has been launched. This clearly indicates that its initiators’ main task is not taking care of Alexei Navalny’s health and finding out the true reasons for his hospitalisation, but mobilising sanctions sentiments.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, portraying Western governments and institutions as inherently Russophobic and trying to harm Russia.

A prominent Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny fell il during a flight from Siberia to Moscow on the 20th of August. Initially hospitalised in Omsk, at the request of his family he was transferred to Charité hospital in Berlin.

Clinical findings 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 in the blood samples of Alexei Navalny. The European Union condemned the poisoning of Alexei Navalny in the strongest possible terms.

Pro-Kremlin disinformation is trying to link this story with various factors - the US' fight against the Russian vaccine, the fight against Nord Stream 2, the fight against Putin, to curb his desire to interfere in Belarus’ affairs.

See related disinformation cases alleging that the West will falsely accuse Russia of poisoning Navalny as with Skripal and Litvinenko; the West has an interest in the death of Navalny to launch a new wave of sanctions against Russia, that the West needed the pretext to open sanctions against Russia, and that there is no evidence Navalny was poisoned.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 211
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 09/09/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: Skripal, novichok, Alexei Navalny, Anti-Russian, Sanctions

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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US sends a message with Navalny poisoning: buy our LNG, because we kill “only” black people

No one has any doubts that this story is not about Navalny, but about Nord Stream 2 – immediate transfer of Navalny to a German clinic and intense media attention forced Chancellor Merkel to comment on this situation, making herself and Germany hostages in the ongoing fight against Nord Stream 2.

The public opinion receives the following message: they [Russia] are poisoning their oppositional politicians and you still want to do business with them? Buy our [American] LNG, because we kill “only” black people. It is clear that one not “fully poisoned” Navalny is worth more than ten killed and 2891 wounded Yellow Vest protestors in France and over twenty killed and several thousand wounded protestors in the USA.

Disproof

This message about Alexei Navalny's poisoning is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative, which explains his poisoning with a "US operation" aimed at stopping of the Nord Stream 2. There are no grounds for connecting the cause of Navalny's poisoning with the construction of Nord Stream 2. The claims that Navalny "was not poisoned at all" or "was poisoned by the USA in order to promote the American LNG" are a conspiracy theory.

A prominent Russian opposition figure, Alexey Navalny fell ill during an internal flight in Russia and the plane had to make an emergency landing in Omsk, where doctors said he was in a coma and they were trying to save his life. Since then he has been transferred to Berlin and is receiving treatment at Berlin's Charite Hospital. The German federal government said that toxicological tests provided  "unequivocal evidence of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group" in the blood samples of Alexei Navalny.

George Soros finances the racial revolution in America

The most important trustee of the anonymous “patriarchs,” patriarch himself, George Soros, has just turned 90. And he doesn’t seem at all concerned about his age. On the contrary. He finances a racial revolution, in fact, fabian-socialist, in America.

Disproof

Recurring narrative on the US protests being organised by George Soros and the Democrat party to take power away from Donald Trump illegally.

There is no evidence to suggest that the protests in the US broke out through “top-down mobilisation,” or that someone is financing them. More globally, this narrative portrays any spontaneous disorders and civil uprisings in other states, very often the former Soviet republics, as Western-funded "colour revolutions".

The same authoritarian regime exists in Bulgaria and Belarus

Taking into consideration [political] trends, it is possible to compare Bulgaria to Belarus, because the same authoritarian regime exists in Bulgaria and Belarus.

Disproof

This message presents Bulgaria as an authoritarian and undemocratic country and uses manipulative headline.

According to the Freedom House, Belarus an authoritarian police state in which elections are openly rigged and civil liberties are curtailed. Bulgaria’s democratic system holds competitive elections and has seen several transfers of power in recent decades. Belarus scored 19 points out of 100 in the Freedom House's Global Freedom Index 2020. Bulgaria's score: 80 out of 100.