Disinfo: No evidence of Navalny poisoning, West wants to stop Nord Stream 2

Summary

No evidence (of the poisoning of opposition Russian politician Alexei Navalny) was provided. Why is Germany involved? Because of Nord Stream 2. In order to stop this gas pipe line, it is necessary to drag Germany into a dubious showdown with Russia.

Disproof

Allegations about the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, which are not supported by any evidence. The poisoning of Navalny has nothing to do with the "intention" of Western countries to impose additional sanctions against Russia in order to stop the construction of Nord Stream 2. A prominent Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny fell ill during a flight and the plane had to make an emergency landing in Omsk. Doctors there said he was in a coma and they were trying to save his life. Since then he has been transferred to Berlin and is receiving treatment at Berlin's Charité Hospital. The German Federal government said that toxicological tests provided “unequivocal evidence of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group” in the blood samples of Alexei Navalny. In addition, on 14 September, the German government provided research by two more independent laboratories in France and Sweden, which confirmed the presence of poison from the Novichok group in the body of politician Alexei Navalny. As explained in Berlin, samples taken from Navalny were sent to these two countries for an independent investigation. In addition, samples were also sent to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which will conduct its own research. The European Union condemned the poisoning of Alexei Navalny in the strongest possible terms.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 212
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 11/09/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: EU, Russia, Germany
  • Keywords: novichok, Nord Stream 2, Alexei Navalny, Sanctions

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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If the Kremlin interferes in Belarus, Ukraine attacks the Donbas

Western “mentors” told Kyiv that if Moscow starts becoming politically active in Belarus, Ukraine would have to launch a strong strike against the Donbas.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Russian disinformation narrative claiming that the West is involved in the events in Belarus. In this particular case, this narrative is interwoven with another regular pro-Kremlin claim about Ukraine being a puppet of the West. The protests in Belarus erupted to contest the results of the presidential election on the 9th of August, which are considered fraudulent by a large part of Belarusian society. The European Union has also stated that the elections were neither free nor fair. Moreover, Ukraine is a sovereign country. EU/US policies are centred on realising and strengthening a stable, democratic, prosperous and free Ukraine, more closely integrated into Europe and Euro-Atlantic structures. Russia is, in fact, violating territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine with continuous acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces, ongoing since February 2014. No evidence has ever emerged that the West is able to dictate Ukrainian policy in any way, especially Kyiv's military strategy.

The West carries out a colour revolution in Belarus and tears away Minsk from Moscow

The West is trying to arrange a new “adventure” in Belarus. The US and the EU want to “tear away” Minsk from Moscow, using the so-called “Ukrainian strategy”, as well as the instruments used during “colour revolutions”.

Disproof

This is part of an ongoing pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on Belarus based on recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives, such as accusing other countries of interference and portraying popular protests against electoral fraud in the country as a Western-led colour revolution. The protests in Belarus erupted to contest the results of the presidential elections in Belarus that took place on the 9 August, which are considered fraudulent by a large part of Belarusian society. The European Union has also stated that the elections were neither free nor fair. There is no evidence that the protests in Belarus are funded and organised externally. Pro-Kremlin media frequently use disinformation narratives about popular protests around the world allegedly incited and funded by the US and other Western states. It has been applied, among others, to protests in Ukraine, Venezuela, Georgia, and Belarus, as well as to present a deceiving narrative on the aggressive West constantly preparing new coups. See similar cases claiming that the protests in Belarus are a colour revolution conducted according to a Maidan scenario and that the West wants to prepare Maidan in Belarus.

Russia doesn’t possess Novichok

All stockpiles of the toxic “Novichok” (in Russia) were destroyed and disposed.

Disproof

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. 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. 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. See other examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives on Alexei Navalny’s poisoning in our database, such as claims that only caffeine and alcohol were found in his blood, that the US wanted to use it to block Nord Stream 2 and Russia’s vaccine against coronavirus, that the West hopes that he dies to have an excuse for new sanctions, or that Western accusations about Navalny’s case are as false as they were about Sergei Skripal and Alexander Litvinenko.