Disinfo: Russia has legally destroyed all of Novichok

Summary

Russia destroyed the stockpile of “Novichok” according to the rules of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which is registered and proven according to the applicable system, and all statements indicating the opposite are misleading information.

Disproof

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.

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.

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.

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  • Reported in: Issue 213
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 23/09/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: novichok, OPCW, Chemical weapons/attack, USSR

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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Antifa are burning their own country

Not only Trump supporters, but also many apolitical Americans are convinced that the forests were set on fire by Antifa militias, sponsored by the Democratic Party. This explains the unprecedented scale of fires this year in the US.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory and recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US Democratic Party.

There is no evidence that Antifa or members of the Democratic Party are deliberately starting forest fires.

It is impossible to recover from a Novichok poisoning

It is impossible for a person poisoned by Novichok to recover, which indicates the existence of a plot against Russia.

Disproof

The story is part of an emerging web of counter-narratives designed to confuse Western public opinion and deny Moscow's involvement in the poisoning of Alexei Navalny. This argument follows a recurring Kremlin pattern of denying that Navalny was poisoned and that Moscow had anything to do with it.

In this case, the argument is that Novichok is only a lethal military-grade nerve agent and that the result is always death. However, we know that 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 herehere, and here.

Ukrainian community in Crimea says there is no hint of national hostility on the peninsula

Ukrainians who live in Crimea got the opportunity to comfortably integrate into the cultural, social and economic space of Russia. This was announced at the UN Security Council by video conference from the inhabitants of the peninsula themselves. They got the opportunity to speak at the meeting of the organisation for the first time. According to the head of the Ukrainian community of Crimea, Anastasia Gridchina, there is no hint of national hostility on the peninsula: after reunification with Russia, no one perceived Ukrainians as strangers.

Disproof

Pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Crimea.

The TV channel cites Anastasia Gridchina, the president of the Ukrainian Community in Crimea. The "Ukrainian Community in Crimea" is a Kremlin-controlled organisation, headed by members of Russia’s ruling party United Russia. The organisation was established in 2016, two years after Russia annexed Crimea and its purpose is to showcase a positive life for Ukrainians on the occupied peninsula.