Disinfo: Russia is ready to investigate the alleged use of Novichok

Summary

Russia is ready to investigate the alleged use of Novichok but nobody has provided Russia with evidence about this.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative about the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, a prominent Russian opposition figure.

The disinformation message clearly refers to the Navalny case, though it does not mention him by name. It is not true that no evidence has been provided to Russia about the use of Novichok in Navalny poisoning. And it is not true that Russia is ready to investigate the alleged use of Novichok.

Navalny fell ill during a flight from Siberia to Moscow on the 20th of August. He was initially hospitalised in Omsk, but shortly afterwards, at the request of his family, he was transferred to Charité hospital in Berlin, where clinical findings indicated that he 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 Navalny.

Additionally, Navalny's poisoning with a Novichok-type agent has been solidly established and later independently corroborated by labs in France and Sweden, and finally confirmed by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), of which the Russian Federation is a member. The OPCW identified the toxin as a cholinesterase inhibitor structurally resembling the known Novichok variants.

The OPCW received on 1 October 2020 a request from the Russian Federation to consider dispatching experts from the Technical Secretariat to the Russian Federation in order to cooperate with Russian experts. OPCW Director-General Fernando Arias, responded to this request assuring Russian Federation authorities that the Technical Secretariat is ready to provide the requested expertise and that a team of experts could be deployed on short notice.

Germany has responded to past Russian calls for Navalny's medical samples by saying that Russia should already have all it needs after its initial treatment of the dissident. German authorities also informed Russia via diplomatic channels on the progress of the investigation. On September 11, 2020 Berlin’s Justice Ministry approved a request from Moscow for legal assistance in the investigation and information on Navalny’s state of health, “subject to his consent ”.

Several months after the incident, Russian authorities have yet not initiated any kind of investigation into the incident. Russian prosecutors declared at an early stage, that nothing pointed at any criminal case behind Navalny’s condition.

See related disinformation cases alleging that Russian investigators are kept away from the Navalny case and that Germany has no evidence that Navalny was poisoned.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 226
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 17/12/2020
  • Language/target audience: Italian
  • Country: Russia, Germany
  • Keywords: novichok, OPCW, Chemical weapons/attack, Alexei Navalny

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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The “systemic racism” paradigm is deadly for America’s white people, which are disenfranchised and oppressed

The paradigm of “systemic racism”, which is dominant in American society, is deadly for whites and for their civilisation. The white race is the truly disenfranchised and oppressed race in the US.

White males are demonised in American society. White males in the US have become the monstrous Other in their own nation.

Disproof

Disinformation presented with no evidence. The article claims, without any evidence, that the “systemic racism” paradigm – one of the key concepts undepinning tbe racial justice protests in the US - “is deadly for whites and for their civilisation” and that white males in the US are demonised and oppressed. These claims are consistent with pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the racial justice protests in the US and about the alleged victimisation of whites in American society.

It is not true that the “systemic racism” concept is an existential threat to white people, as the article suggests. The “systemic racism” concept has been widely debated in the US, and refers to “a system in which public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations, and other norms work in various, often reinforcing ways to perpetuate racial group inequity”. The concept advocates the need for social reform to reduce and eliminate racial injustice in America, not for violence and oppression against white people.

Russia never intervened in US elections in 2016

Russian hackers did not interfere in the US presidential elections in 2016 when Donald Trump was elected nor in 2020 when Joe Biden won over Donald Trump. Claims about an alleged “Russian interference” only aim to destroy bilateral relations between Russia and the United States.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation denying Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

Available evidence suggests that Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential poll - which was specifically aimed at damaging Clinton's campaign and aid her opponent - did affect the vote, particularly in three critical swing states where Trump's victory margins were the thinnest. In the US, Russian-linked posts reached 126 million Facebook users, whilst 29 million saw the content "directly".

Navalny affair is an intelligence war

The case of the alleged poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny is nothing more than an intelligence war. The fact that the Russian security services were following him does not mean that they also poisoned him.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative surrounding the poisoning of prominent Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny.

Navalny fell ill during a flight from Siberia to Moscow on the 20th of August. Initially hospitalised in Omsk, at the request of his family he was transferred to Charité hospital in Berlin, where clinical findings indicated that he 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 his blood samples.