Disinfo: Navalny's Novichok poisoning was a psychosomatic reaction

Summary

The Novichok used against Navalny was of a psychosomatic type. In other words, it only affects you if you believe in it. If you don’t, then it doesn’t. It’s very simple.

Disproof

The claim advances a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative concerning the poisoning of Alexei Navalny.

Clinical findings at the Charité hospital indicated that Navalny had been poisoned with a substance from the group of cholinesterase inhibitors. Subsequent toxicological tests established the presence of a Novichok-type chemical nerve agent in Navalny's blood.

There are no grounds to suggest that the chemical agent in question produces a "psychosomatic" reaction in the affected individual. In October 2020, Germany's findings were corroborated by the OPCW Technical Secretariat, which concluded that "[t]he biomarkers of the cholinesterase inhibitor found in Mr Navalny’s blood and urine samples have similar structural characteristics to the toxic chemicals belonging to schedules 1.A.14 and 1.A.15." Any toxic substance listed in Schedule 1 of the Annex on Chemicals must meet several criteria including, crucially, that it "possesses such lethal or incapacitating toxicity as well as other properties that would enable it to be used as a chemical weapon" (para 1(b)(ii), emphasis added).

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 221
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 18/11/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Germany, Russia
  • Keywords: novichok, Alexei Navalny, Chemical weapons/attack
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Russian coronavirus vaccine has dozens of orders unlike the American one

The anti coronavirus vaccine from the American company Moderna is unlikely to leave the United States in the near future. The vaccine turned out to be very expensive and it is unlikely that poor states can afford it. So no one is queuing up for the American novelty yet.

After the world’s first official registration of the Russian drug Sputnik V, dozens of countries have already applied for its purchase.

Disproof

The Pro-Kremlin outlet Vesti refers to the Guardian when it claims Moderna is too expensive to become popular among poorer countries, but it appears to mix up two vaccines. The original publication by the Guardian says that Moderna vaccine against coronavirus is more affordable than Pfizer: "The second reason to applaud is that Moderna’s vaccine can be kept in an ordinary fridge at 2 to 8C for a month. The big anxiety about the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is the need to keep it in what is known as ultra-cold chain – freezers running at between minus 70C and minus 80C. That makes it really hard in most countries to store and transport the vaccine, and nigh impossible in low-income countries, without substantial donor help."

To conclude its reporting, the disinformation outlet says that there are dozens of countries which have already applied for the purchase of the Russian vaccine in contrast to the American one for which "no one is queuing up".

It is speculation to say that cyberattacks against vaccine producers originated in Russia

The news of cyberattacks originating from Russia against companies developing a Coronavirus vaccine is just speculation, determined by the political trend, and Moscow regrets that it has become customary in the United States to blame Russia for everything.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative denying any involvement of the Russian government in hacker attacks and cyber-crime.

Cyberattacks in recent months originating in Russia and North Korea have targeted online accounts at seven companies researching Covid-19 drugs and vaccines, according to Microsoft.

Poland has a phobia of the Russian threat and its “imperialist” policies

President Andrzej Duda would not be himself if he did not mention the phobias haunting his political force. Once again, he claims that Russia poses a threat and its policies have “imperial” character.

President Duda presented as “success” the presence of foreign armed forces on the territory of Poland. He is proud of the fact that he has brought to Poland the real danger of turning it in a potential front-line country.

President Duda dreams about an illusionary integration within the Three Seas Initiative. These dreams are supposed to satisfy certain Polish complexes – in this mystical Three Seas Initiative, Poland should play the role of a pseudo-power. Although, no one else is particularly serious about these ambitions of Warsaw and its geopolitical fantasies.

Disproof

This message presents several popular pro-Kremlin narratives about the foreign policy of Poland - it promotes the widespread narrative about Russophobic Poland, misrepresents the nature of NATO’s military presence in this country and spreads wrong information about the Three Seas Initiative.

The Polish authorities are worried about the aggressive policies of Russia, which are manifested in the Russian illegal annexation of Crimea, Russia's armed military aggression in Ukraine and other hostile actions against the Russian neighbours.