DISINFO: Navalny was allegedly poisened with Novichok, but no proof was provided
  • Outlet: de.rt.com (archived)*
  • Date of publication: February 05, 2021
  • Outlet language(s): German
  • Reported in: Issue 230
  • Countries / regions discussed: Germany, Russia
novichok Alexei Navalny

DISINFO: Navalny was allegedly poisened with Novichok, but no proof was provided


Numerous politicians from the EU and the USA have repeatedly criticised the Russian government in recent months in connection with the political blogger Alexei Navalny. The latter had collapsed and fallen into a coma during a flight in Russia on August 20. After an emergency landing, he was initially treated in a hospital in Russia, where doctors diagnosed him with a metabolic disorder and explicitly ruled out poisoning. Still in a coma, he was flown out to Germany at the request of his family for further treatment, where it was allegedly determined that Navalny had been poisoned with the military-grade nerve agent Novichok. […]

The Russian government rejects this claim and demands proof of the alleged poisoning.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative portraying the poisoning of prominent Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny as staged and targeted against Russia.

The prominent Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny fell ill 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.

At the request of the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, a specialist Bundeswehr laboratory carried out toxicological tests on samples from Alexei Navalny. The results of these tests have revealed unequivocal proof of the presence of a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group.

As for why Bundeswehr laboratory was used, the issue concerns military grade chemical weapons and such specialists knowledge is found with Bundeswehr. The associated pro-Kremlin narrative of throwing suspicion around the involvement of a specialist laboratory is an attempt to up-front discredit the specialist knowledge necessary in this very special case.

Russia keeps trying to question these results. However, indisputable evidence exists. After Germany requested its technical assistance, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), where Russia is a member, issued a statement verifying previous statements by the German authorities. Several reports have indicated that the OPCW tests showed that blood and urine samples contained a "cholinesterase inhibitor" similar to two Novichok chemicals that were banned by the Hague-based body in 2019. The OPCW findings corroborated earlier independent conclusions by German, French, and Swedish laboratories.

Read also similar disinformation cases alleging that the Western intelligence agencies are working with Navalny, or that the West will falsely accuse Russia of poisoning Navalny, as with Skripal and Litvinenko.

See related disinformation messages blaming the West for Navalny's condition, and alleging that only alcohol and caffeine was found in Navalny blood.


Related disinfo cases


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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