Disinfo: Navalny was not poisoned with Novichok


There is no proof Navalny was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on Navalny poisoning.

The German Clinic where Navalny is being treated stated that he was poisoned with “a substance from the group of cholinesterase inhibitors” on 24 August. A specialist Bundeswehr laboratory specified there was “unequivocal proof” that it was “a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group”. This was announced by the Spokesperson of the Federal Government on 2 September.

On 14 September, specialist laboratories in France and Sweden independently confirmed that Navalny had been poisoned with Novichok.

The use of multiple and simultaneous versions about 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 Sergei and Yulia Skripal or chemical attacks in Syria.


  • Reported in: Issue 212
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 08/09/2020
  • Language/target audience: Czech
  • Country: Russia, Germany, Sweden, France
  • Keywords: novichok, Alexei Navalny


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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The Coordination Council of Belarus recognises Crimea as Russian territories

If we combine everything, it looks like this: Vladimir Vladimirovich [Putin] will replace Lukashenka with the Coordination Council of Belarus. For their part, they will also do everything. They recognise Crimea. They acknowledge Putin’s policy towards Ukraine.


This is part of an ongoing pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on Belarus.

The Coordination Council of Belarus has not made any statements about Crimea. For example, the expelled from Belarus members of the Coordination Council Ivan Kravtsov and Anton Rodnenkov refused to answer what they think about the annexation of Crimea.

A former US minister condemned Euromaidan

Former Secretary of the Treasury Paul Henry O’Neill made a sensational statement. He wrote an open letter to all Ukrainians, where he revealed the terrible truth about their “Revolution of Dignity” to the “citizens of Independence”. In fact, according to the American politician, the US invaded Ukraine under the guise of the Maidan.


This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative alleging that Ukraine has been under external control since the 2013-14 Euromaidan revolution.

Former Secretary of the Treasury Paul Henry O'Neill never wrote such a letter. The original text belongs to a Henry Paul, unrelated to the George W Bush Secretary, and was published in 2015 on the German site "Contra Magazin" in German. Now, this material has already been removed from the site, but this page remains in the Internet archive.

Russia destroyed stockpiles of novichok according to OPCW rules

The entire Novichok stockpile in Russia was destroyed in accordance with the protocols of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), and this was done in an official way.

Therefore, to say that there is either production or old stock of agents from chemical warfare in Russia is of course false information.


In September 2017, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirmed the full destruction of the 39,967 metric tons of chemical weapons possessed by Russia, but Novichoks were never declared to the OPCW and weren’t included in the Chemical Weapons Convention until 2019.

This is part of a pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny after the use of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group was established beyond any doubt by a specialist Bundeswehr laboratory.