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.
While the alleged poisoning of the Russian opposition member Alexei Navalny still creates more questions than answers, its coverage in Western media reminds an information war or a well-planned publicity campaign. It seems that its goal has been from the beginning to take out Navalny of oblivion, achieving his appearance in the Russian media, including the official ones, so he is not only a social media character anymore. The final purpose is to equate him with Russian President Vladimir Putin as a politician, so both the international and Russian audiences talk of Putin and Navalny in the same context.
Recurrent disinformation narrative on the poisoning of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny not based on any evidence.
Though only 9 per cent of Russians had a positive view of Navalny’s work in 2019, saying that he was “in oblivion” is a misrepresentation of facts. According to the Levada Center, while in 2012 only 25 per cent of Russians had ever heard of Navalny, the figure had increased to 55 per cent by 2017, largely thanks to his anti-corruption and political campaigns.
This 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 claiming that Western media are playing an information war through 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 Navalny 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.