Disinfo: The attack on Navalny is a special operation against Nord Stream 2

Summary

The attack on Navalny is a well-planned operation aimed at preventing the completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. The Russian leadership has no reason to hound Navalny. He has such a low rating in Russia, which makes him an ideal opposition leader who cannot threaten the regime in any way.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is under strong pressure from the United States, and Washington itself is trying to prevent the strengthening of ties between Russia and Germany. The ongoing special operation is directed against Russia and Europe.

Disproof

Recurrent disinformation narrative by the pro-Kremlin media denying any wrongdoing by Russia.

Alexey Navalny is an anti-corruption activist. In 2012, Navalny was included by Time magazine in the list of the 100 most influential people in the world. In 2017 and 2019 he was elected the politician of the year according to Vedomosti. Since the beginning of the 2010s, he has been serving as an accused, defendant and witness in a number of criminal, administrative, civil and arbitration cases, which Navalny himself and his supporters consider politically motivated. The most resonant of them are the "Case of Kirovles" and "Case of Yves Rocher". In both cases, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Navalny's rights were violated by Russian authorities. In total, Navalny won 6 complaints against the Russian authorities in the ECHR for a total of 225 thousand euros.

Background

Russian opposition leader and a critic of Vladimir Putin Alexey Navalny has been suffering from suspected poisoning. He fell ill during a flight and the plane had to make an emergency landing in Omsk, where doctors said he was in a coma. Navalny has since been transferred to Berlin and is receiving treatment at Berlin's Charite Hospital. Clinical findings indicate poisoning with a substance from the group of cholinesterase inhibitors, said Charite. At the request of the Charité, a specialist Bundeswehr laboratory carried out toxicological tests on samples from Alexei Navalny. The results of these tests have revealed unequivocal proof of the presence of a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group. Germany forwarded the results of the toxicological test to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 211
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 11/09/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, US, Germany
  • Keywords: novichok, Nord Stream 2, 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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After the coup in Kiev in 2014, Crimea reunited with Russia following a referendum

After the Kiev coup in February 2014, the authorities in Crimea and Sevastopol decided to hold a referendum on reunification with Russia. In the vote, which took place on March 16 of the same year, more than 80 percent of those eligible to vote took part. For reunification with the Russian Federation, 96.7 and 95.6% of the inhabitants of Crimea and Sevastopol voted, respectively.

On March 18, the President of Russia signed an agreement on the acceptance of the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol into the Russian Federation, and on March 21, the document was ratified by the Federal Assembly. Despite the convincing results of the referendum, Kiev refused to recognize Crimea as part of Russia.

Disproof

Recurrent narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea.

The Euromaidan was not a coup but a nationwide popular protest against the government's sudden announcement that it would not sign the EU Association Agreement. See the full debunk here.

Allegations of Navalny’s poisoning are a concerted Western effort against Russia

What we are seeing regarding the allegations surrounding Navalny is a part and parcel of an ongoing, concerted, and vicious campaign against Russia, because Russia is a superpower and that’s what the Americans and the British loathe.

Disproof

The claim advances recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the poisoning of activist Alexei Navalny, and  Western Russophobia.

There are no grounds for connecting either the US or the UK to Navalny's poisoning. The activist fell ill on a 20 August flight from Siberia to Moscow. Initially hospitalized in Omsk, he was transferred to the Charité hospital in Berlin at the request of his family.

Russiagate is a Deep State-backed conspiracy theory

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Disproof

The claim advances a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative denying Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and alleging that US/Western democratic procedures are overridden by a secret anti-Trump bureaucracy.

The fact of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential poll was initially established by the US intelligence community in January 2017 and further confirmed upon the publication of the Special Counsel Investigation report in March 2019. In the course of the two-year probe, the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller  "issued more than 2,800 subpoeanas; [...] executed nearly 500 search-and-seizure warrants; [...] obtained more than 230 orders for communications records; [...] and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses, including almost 80 before a grand jury" (Mueller report, p. 13), and concluded that Moscow had "interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion" (p. 1). See here for a summary of the report's findings.