Disinfo: Navalny would have died from Novichok poisoning


The symptoms of Aleksey Navalny’s alleged poisoning are absolutely uncharacteristic of the use of the Novichok nerve agent. He would have suffered convulsions and died, instead of falling into a coma.


The story is part of an emerging web of counter-narratives designed to confuse Western public opinion and deny Moscow's involvement in the poisoning of Aleksey Navalny.

There are at least four people known to have survived a Novichok poisoning. In 1987 Andrey Zheleznyakov, a researcher attached to the Soviet chemical warfare programme, suffered an accidental exposure to a Novichok-type compound. The accident left him permanently disabled but alive for another six years.

In March 2018, Russian ex-spy Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yuliya fell victim of a poisoning in Salisbury but recovered with intensive medical care. The UK authorities established that the assassination attempt had been carried out by two Russian intelligence operatives using Novichok.

The following June, two individuals in Amesbury, England were accidentally exposed to Novichok contained in a fake perfume bottle. One of the victims survived.

Alexei Navalny was put in a controlled, artificially induced coma by the medical staff at the hospital in Omsk, where he was brought after falling acutely ill on a flight. The coma itself was not a symptom of the poisoning.


  • Reported in: Issue 210
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 02/09/2020
  • Language/target audience: English, Russian, Spanish, Castilian, Czech, German, French, Italian
  • Country: Russia, Germany
  • Keywords: novichok, Chemical weapons/attack, 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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