Disinfo: Navalny was not poisoned with Novichok

Summary

If Alexei Navalny’s condition was caused by poisoning from Novichok, the people accompanying him would have to suffer the same symptoms. According to the chief toxicologist who first treated Navalny in Omsk hospital in Siberia, his situation was triggered by an “internal activation mechanism”. Novichok is an organophosphate compound and because of its high toxicity, it is not possible to poison just one person.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on Navalny poisoning.

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 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.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 210
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 06/09/2020
  • Language/target audience: Greek
  • Country: Russia, Germany
  • Keywords: novichok, Alexei Navalny

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 charged Russia based on inconclusive evidence on Skripals’ poisoning

Although London did not provide conclusive evidence of Skripals’ poisoning in 2018, this did not prevent Washington from directing charges against Moscow.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury claiming that the United Kingdom was never able to provide "conclusive" evidence of the Skripal being poisoned nor of Russia’s involvement.

Moscow's involvement in the poisoning has been proven via a thorough investigation. The British Police have presented a solid chain of evidence on the Skripal case, with pictures, connecting the suspects to the locations in the case. Parts of the material have been released to the public. The evidence was sufficient to charge two Russian nationals, Anatoliy Chepiga and Aleksandr Mishkin with the attack on the Skripals, both Russian military intelligence operatives from the GRU, who travelled to the UK using fake names and documents.

NATO exercises in Estonia are an unfriendly message addressed to Russia

Any NATO exercise is a message in military language addressed to certain countries, in this case, an unfriendly message addressed to Russia. The military exercises in Estonia are provocative and dangerous. NATO is working on a land war scenario. On the eastern borders of the Alliance, a land war can only be waged with Russia, no one else.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about NATO allegedly pursuing a belligerent and hostile agenda against Russia.

Every nation has the right to conduct exercises, but it is important that they are conducted transparently and in line with international obligations.

Merkel lied about Navalny’s poisoning

A wiretapped call between Berlin and Warsaw showed that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s statements about Alexei Navalny were false.

Disproof

This is an effort to cast a shadow of doubt on the tests conducted in Germany that led Chancellor Angela Merkel to say that Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was poisoned by a Novichok type nerve agent. However, no solid proof is given against Merkel's statements. There was only an alleged conversation between some Mike and Nick published on 4 September by the Belarusian security services. The conversation was made public with a Russian voice-over on Friday on Belarusian state TV that has provoked an avalanche of jokes and laughter on Russian and Belarusian social media.

The German government dismissed Aleksander Lukashenko's statement as being untrue. An official representative of the German government told RBC: “Of course, the statement of Aleksander Lukashenko does not correspond to reality.”