Disinfo: Russia doesn’t possess Novichok

Summary

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.

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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First suspect in attack on Navalny is Mikhail Khodorkovsky

Do you seriously think that Navalny competed somewhere with Putin or United Russia? Their fields do not even intersect anywhere. But with whom the fields intersect? Look inside the opposition. Where there is money, there is also a desire to eliminate your political opponent. The main person with whom Navalny competes is Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky. First of all, these are methods familiar to Khodorkovsky. Secondly, they absolutely share one field. Thirdly, we have seen in the last year how they even started to dog a little in public. Fourth, this is so much of their galaxy, of the Khodorkovskys, Berezovskys, so much of their method.

Disproof

Part of the disinformation campaign on Alexey Navalny's poisoning.

Pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets give a variety of mutually exclusive versions of what happened to Navalny. For example, that Navalny caused his coma himself with a diet, he poisoned himself with alcohol, pills or that his poisoning profits the EU, US or even another Russian opposition leader Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

Navalny might have been poisoned as a result of a conflict with his partners

The poisoning of Alexei Navalny might have been a result of a conflict with the blogger’s companion Vladimir Ashurkov and other Western partners.

Disproof

An unfounded conspiracy theory, and a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the Navalny poisoning and the alleged insignificance of the activist.

On August 20 the prominent Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny fell ill during a flight and the plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Omsk, where doctors said that he was in a coma and that they were trying to save his life. Since then he has been transferred to Berlin and is receiving treatment at Berlin's Charite Hospital.

Protests in Belarus are driven by Americans from the center near Warsaw

The Poles have exalted themselves this week. The impression is that they again, as if at the beginning of the 17th century, are trying to arrange the Time of Troubles on our territory. That lesson has never been learned. And Poland, in alliance with Lithuania, returns to its old ways.

And of course, this whole story is not about Belarus. The goal is to make a mess of Russia. For Poland and Lithuania, this is already a centuries-old idea. Today their reanimate it. They believe it is a new chance.

There is no destabilisation in the country [of Belarus]. And you know, if it were not for the external factor, this would not have had happened. Both we and the Russians know who is in charge and from where. The Americans are running it from the centre near Warsaw through well-known telegram channels.

The Coordination Council, about which the opposition talks so much, does not represent the Belarusian society.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the protests in Belarus. See previous conspiracy claim that "200 Ukrainian extremists" are controlling the multi thousand protesters in Belarus.

The protests in Belarus erupted to contest the results of the presidential election in Belarus 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.