Disinfo: Russia never developed Novichok

Summary

The Soviet Union and Russia, unlike the Western countries, never developed or produced Novichok. There is no evidence of Russian traces (of poisoning) and there can be no such evidence.

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 tonnes of chemical weapons possessed by Russia, but Novichoks were never declared to the OPCW and were not included in the Chemical Weapons Convention until 2019.

After the poisoning of Sergey and Yuliya Skripal with Novichok in Salisbury in 2018, Dr. Vil Mirzayanov said that “many countries could have had test samples, but production was only refined in the U.S.S.R. and Russia” and that Russia had to be behind the attempt on the Skripals because it “is the country that invented it, has the experience, turned it into a weapon... has fully mastered the cycle”.

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 Sergey and Yuliya 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 Sergey Skripal and Aleksandr Litvinenko.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 213
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 24/09/2020
  • Language/target audience: German
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: novichok

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 CIA is organising a colour revolution in the US to oust Donald Trump after the November 2020 elections

Russiagate and Impeachgate were failed coups d’état. The Deep State has decided to oust President Donald Trump by means of a colour revolution because it is aware that should Trump be re-elected he will be able to deal with the treason against him. The US media, as well as numerous websites financed by the CIA and foundations and corporations through which the CIA operates, are instilling the idea in the minds of Americans that Trump will not leave office if he loses, or that he will steal the election with fraud and therefore must be forced out. Trump’s legitimate victory in the elections is not deemed possible.

Should Trump win the election, Antifa and Black Lives Matter will again unleash violent protests in US cities, as they have done recently thanks to support from the Deep State. The CIA will make sure that the violence is well funded . The media and the Democratic Party will explain that the violence is necessary to liberate America from a tyrant.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory. The article provides no evidence to support its claims.

The article repeats the recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation message claiming that a “colour revolution” in the US is underway, or will be implemented, to oust President Donald Trump. According to this narrative, the “colour revolution” is organised by the Democratic Party, the “Deep State”, and/or “globalist élites” such as George Soros, which are allegedly orchestrating and financing violent protests in US cities.

Novichok can be produced anywhere

The neurotoxic agent Novichok is a substance which can be produced in any laboratory in the world, as Vil Mirzayanov, who has left Russia for the United States, has published a book about it.

In particular, Leonid Rink, the so-called inventor of Novichok, has told RIA Novosti: “Vil Sultanovich (Mirzayanov), although not the creator of Novichok, published a book in the West about the Novichok system and its authors. Therefore, instead of apologizing to (Alexei) Navalny, he should apologize to the Attorney General’s Office, the state security services and the country for revealing secret data in the open literature, and then apologize to the entire world community for giving a complete description, for any kind of aggression, of the Novichok system in his book.”

He went on to say that Novichok could be produced in any chemical laboratory in the world, referring to the alleged “poisoning” of Alexei Navalny.

Disproof

This story belongs to a sustained efforts by the pro-Kremlin media to distract and distort the facts about the poisoning of Alexey Navalny, as they have done in the past in the Skripal case.

The use of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group in the poisoning of Alexei Navalny was established beyond any doubt by a Bundeswehr laboratory.

Euromaidan and pro-European politics led to the collapse of Ukraine

When in 2013, Ukrainian pro-Western politicians who lost two elections in a row drove their fellow citizens to Euromaidan, they promised them European prosperity and the highest standard of living. Instead, Ukraine received a deep economic crisis, war, and the de facto collapse of the country.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign against Ukraine, containing multiple disinformation narratives regarding the Euromaidan and Ukrainian statehood.

The Euromaidan did not lead to the loss of Crimea and the war in Donbas; this occurred through Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea and its armed aggression in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The occupation of Crimea, which has not been recognised by the democratic world, including the United Nations, and the war in Donbas caused a deep economic crisis in 2014-2015. However, the Ukrainian economy already began to recover in 2015.