Disinfo: No evidence of Russian poisoning of Skripal

Summary

The Russian authorities have repeatedly rejected the Western accusations of the (Sergei and Yulia) Skripal case, noting that the UK has not provided any evidence to substantiate these allegations.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury claiming that the United Kingdom was never able to provide detailed evidence 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.

Following this attack, the United Kingdom notified the OPCW, invited them to confirm the identity of the substance involved, and briefed members of the Security Council. The OPCW’s independent expert laboratories confirmed the UK’s identification of the Russian produced Novichok nerve agent, specifically the purity of the toxin while emphasising that the OPCW team “worked independently and was not involved in the national investigation by the UK authorities. No State Party was involved in the technical work carried out by the Technical Secretariat," to ensure the integrity of the examinations and investigations.

According to the UK intelligence assessment, based on open-source analysis and intelligence information, in the past decade, Russia has produced and stockpiled small quantities of Novichok agents, long after it signed the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Novichok was developed in Russia in the 1970s and 1980s. It is so unusual, that very few scientists outside of Russia have any real experience in dealing with it and no country outside of Russia is known to have developed the substance. See reports here and here.

See similar cases claiming that there was no evidence of Russia's involvement in the poisoning of Skripals and that Russia is accused of US election meddling and the Skripals’ poisoning without proof

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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Navalny poisoning: The West needed a pretext to open sanctions against Russia

It is not possible to openly impose sanctions in response to the Russian-Belarusian rapprochement, it is too rough and strained. Thus, there was a need for a pretext that was sufficiently weighty to take measures of pressure. The perfect pretext is the poisoning of Navalny, which miraculously took place at the most appropriate moment. Navalny’s personality has become the trigger of sanctions pressure, and his fate is a direct signal to Moscow. It is not a coincidence that the German foreign Ministry issued a statement that the development of the situation with Navalny directly depends on Moscow’s actions. Pressure on Moscow is being exerted by the united front of the leaders of Germany, France, and the United States, primarily by the leadership of the democratic party and its “deep state”.

Disproof

An unfounded conspiracy theory, suggesting western powers stand behind the attack on Russian dissident Alexei Navalny.

A prominent Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny fell ill during a flight and the plane to make an emergency landing in Omsk, where doctors 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 Charite 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.

Navalny case is a project to build up opposition against Nord Stream 2

In the case of Navalny, you have to ask yourself, who benefits from this? We can say one thing for certain. There is a big problem that NATO wants to stop the completion of the “Nord Stream 2” project and in the corona times, they [NATO] have almost no chance of finding anything against Russia that they can use in the media and even cover up the corona hysteria to oppose the Nord Stream 2 project.

The most important question is who benefits from the “Navalny case”. According to experts, NATO could prevent the completion of the Nord Stream 2 project.

Disproof

An unsupported conspiracy theory that the poisoning of Aleksey Navalny was a secret project to prevent Nord Stream 2. There is no ground for connecting the Navalny case with the construction of Nord Stream 2.

A prominent Russian opposition figure, Aleksey Navalny fell ill during a flight and the plane had to make an emergency landing in Omsk, where doctors 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 Aleksey Navalny.

The Baltic States and Poland are blowing Belarus up from the inside

The Baltic States and Poland are blowing Belarus up from the inside. The West loudly reproaches Russia for “interfering in the affairs of Belarus” – and this is at the very moment a number of Western countries brazenly put pressure on Belarusian society and the state.

Vilnius faces two challenges. Firstly, position themselves as the main fighters against the Russian world (of which Lukashenka is considered a part, as well as the way the Belarusian president communicates with his people). Secondly, to actively make money on this positioning – given the deplorable state of the Lithuanian economy, the country really needs money. Warsaw needs an obedient (or better yet, a puppet) regime in Minsk to create an image of Poland as a regional power, thereby increasing its influence and opportunities within the European Union.

Disproof

This is part of a Russian disinformation campaign about Belarus based on recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives alleging that the West is destabilising the situation in Minsk and provoking military actions on the Belarusian borders.

There is no evidence that that the West, nor Poland and Lithuania in particular, are trying to destabilise the situation in Belarus. Poland and Lithuania support the independence and territorial integrity of Belarus and they do not have any territorial claims against their neighbour.