Disinfo: The Navalny setup may be related to the success of Russia’s space programme


The Navalny case strongly brings to mind the case of Skripal, which was also a clumsy setup. There are geostrategical interests in place, not only the Nord Stream pipeline but also Russia’s spectacular advances in creating a vaccine against Covid-19, and the launching of the Soyuz, which reached the international station in three hours, which reminds us of the Soviet advances in this field and the old competition with the US. This time, Russia overcame all the other players in providing supplies for the international space station.


This is part of a pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, which follows the same playbook as 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. Since the use of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group against Navalny has been established beyond any doubt by a specialist Bundeswehr laboratory, the claim that the Navalny case was a setup is false, and even more the affirmation that it may be related to the recent successes of Russia’s space programme.

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 on Navalny’s case are as false as they were about Sergei Skripal and Alexander Litvinenko.

This disinformation message appeared in the same programme than the claims that “The CIA may be behind the Navalny case, as John Brennan’s tweets show” and “NATO countries improved and used Novichok”


  • Reported in: Issue 218
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 14/10/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Spanish
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia
  • Keywords: vaccination, Nord Stream 2, Sergei Skripal, Anti-Russian, Alexei Navalny
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Disinfo: It was agreed that NATO would never accept countries that border Russia

In the Russo-American negotiations of 1991, it was agreed, admittedly orally, that NATO would NEVER include countries with a common border with Russia, apart from the Baltic countries, whose annexation had never been recognised.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about NATO enlargement.

The US or NATO made no promises to not expand into eastern and central Europe back in 1990, which was confirmed by the former president of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev. Back in 2014, Gorbachev said: "The topic of ‘NATO expansion’ was not discussed at all, and it wasn’t brought up in those years. I say this with full responsibility."

Disinfo: The West deprived Ukraine and Baltic states of their sovereignty

The West uses the topic of sovereignty precisely in order to deprive others of it, just as this happened with the Baltic states, or Ukraine: once out of the USSR, they surrendered their sovereignty. The plan has never been to give them sovereignty but to use them as an anti-Russian tool for the destruction of Russia.


Conspiracy theory with no evidence given. This disinformation message advances pro-Kremlin narratives undermining the statehood of Ukraine and sovereignty of the Baltic states casting them as abandoned by their Western partners. Sovereignty and respect for other countries' independent rights are at the core of Western liberal democracy. There is no evidence that the West is depriving Ukraine or the Baltic states of their sovereignty or that they are tools against Russia. The Baltic states - Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania - are fully-fledged members of the EU and NATO, where they have the same rights as any other member state. They are sovereign, independent, and democratic countries. Ukraine is an independent country. Its sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by almost all countries. Ukraine is a priority partner for the EU and a strategic partner for the US. Ukraine also develops its relations with NATO. The EU, the US, and other Western partners support the democratic development of Ukraine in accordance with the UN Charter’s principles of non-interference into internal affairs and respect towards territorial integrity and political independence. See similar disinformation cases alleging that the West have disposed of Ukraine like trash, that the three seas initiative is an American project against the EU, that Ukraine surrenders its sovereignty to get loans from the EU, or that Ukraine is occupied by the Americans.

Disinfo: Donbas is Russia and it must return to its natural border

Centripetal processes that are bound to come and are inevitable should involve Donbas first. We can see on the map where Donbas is located, how close to Russia. Donbas is not even a zone of Russia’s geopolitical influence, Donbas is Russia itself and it must return to its natural border.


Recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about Donbas, war in Ukraine, and the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Donbas is historically a Ukrainian region. "Until the 15th century, it was a referred to as the"wild field", where all who visited the south of Ukraine walked and lived. The 15th-18th centuries were a period of Cossack colonisation, to which government imperial colonisation and the unauthorised settlement of runaway peasants seeking free living space were later added.This continued until the early 19th century," said ethnologist Lesya Gasydgak. In 19th century Donbas began to be inhabited by workers from the Russian provinces. The historian of Donetsk Law University Dmitry Titarenko says that both in that period and in the twentieth century, up to the postwar period, Russian colonisation was a sign of the formation of Donbas. Ukraine hasn't recognised the so-called DPR and LNR as independent states separate from Ukrainian territory. These are parts of the Ukrainian regions Donetsk and Luhansk but supported by Russian military units. Not a single country has recognised them as independent entities. The EU has condemned the clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since February 2014. Read similar cases claiming that "The DNR and LNR gained independence from Ukraine", "Kyiv does not want rebel-held territories to rejoin Ukraine", that there is no evidence of Russian presence in Ukraine, that rumours about Russian military presence in Donbas come from linguistic misunderstanding, or that Crimean people have expressed their desire to rejoin Russia and that Crimea never belonged to Ukraine.