Disinfo: Navalny’s recovery disproves poisoning by Novichok

Summary

The German press writes about the supposedly new type of the Novichok. They write that it is a binary substance, that is, consisting of two components. But in order to bring such a substance into a combat state, an explosion is needed. And since there was no explosion in the case of Navalny, it means that there was no “Novichok” either. This can explain the blogger’s high speed of recovery.

In any case, this could only be done by the Western special services, which have been working with substances of this type over the past 20 years. This assumption is confirmed by the fact that German military doctors immediately classified the test results. At the same time, Russia has not been working with such substances for 30 years.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on Alexei Navalny's 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.

Novichok is a highly toxic nerve agent that slows the heart, paralyses the muscles used for breathing and — if the dose is big enough — can lead to death by asphyxiation. A smaller dose may result in seizures, neuromuscular weakness, liver failure and other damage. This has been presented in various other reports here, here and here. The claim about an explosion needed in the case of a binary substance is plainly silly: many glues function the same way - two substances are simply mixed.

Navalny's coma was medically induced and did not constitute a symptom of poisoning. Several other confirmed Novichok victims were put in a coma and subsequently regained consciousness. 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 he lived for another six years.

In March 2018, Russian ex-spy Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yuliya fell victim to poisoning in Salisbury but recovered with intensive medical care as did a police officer who had been exposed when he visited their home to investigate. 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.

The claim that Russia has not been working with Novichok for 30 years is also false. 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.

See other stories on the Navalny poisoning: Many questions to be answered on Navalny blood tests in Berlin, US hopes that the Navalny case will lead to the cancellation of Nord Stream 2, West will falsely accuse Russia of poisoning Navalny, as with Skripal and Litvinenko.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 211
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 10/09/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Germany
  • Keywords: novichok, Alexei Navalny, Intelligence services, The West

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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