Disinfo: The purpose of Skripal and Navalny cases is demonisation of Vladimir Putin

Summary

The story of blogger Alexei Navalny’s planned provocation is too familiar, starting with the story of Skripal’s poisoning by “Novichok”. The purpose of these two openly anti-Russian actions is quite obvious – demonisation of Russia’s most worthy president Vladimir Putin. The scripts of those were written by well-known transatlantic followers of the globalists. “Navalniana” aims to divert the attention of US and European citizens from the acute problems that exist there.

Disproof

An unfounded conspiracy theory, and a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Navalny poisoning. These narratives aim to deny Russia's well-documented role in the poisoning of Sergey and Yuliya Skripal in 2018 as well as to label Western governments and institutions as inherently Russophobic and Anti-Russian, targeting Vladimir Putin. The disinformation claim also advances recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about secret global elites. Moscow's involvement in Skipal poisoning has been proven via a thorough investigation. The British Police have presented a solid chain of evidence on the Skripal case, with pictures, connecting the suspects to the locations in the case. Parts of the material have been released to the public. Alexei Navalny was transferred from hospital in Omsk to Charité hospital in Berlin. The preliminary test results from the Charité – Universitätsmedizin hospital in Berlin indicated that the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned during his stay in Siberia. Clinical findings indicate poisoning with a substance from the group of cholinesterase inhibitors. German government later confirmed that Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was poisoned with a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group. See related disinformation cases alleging that Russophobic Western media push narrative of Putin’s role in Navalny poisoning, that there is no evidence of Russian poisoning of Skripal, that The West punishes Russia for having chosen Putin as a president again, that British authorities are exploiting the Skripal-case for anti-Russian propaganda or that Merkel’s statement about Navalny’s poisoning is a falsification to curb Putin’s desire to interfere in Belarus’ affairs.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 211
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 11/09/2020
  • Language/target audience: Armenian
  • Country: EU, Russia, US
  • Keywords: Skripal, Alexei Navalny, Anti-Russian, Secret elites / global elites, Vladimir Putin

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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Alexei Navalny was poisoned by an MI6 agent

[Alexei Navalny’s] body reacted differently to a fast-acting substance that was rapidly excreted from the body, which his friend Maria Pevchikh gave him. According to a source, she is also an employee (undercover agent) of the [British Secret Intelligence Service] MI6. So, it was the work of Maria Pevchikh. These substances have been in Russia for a long time. They don’t even need to be brought to Russia. They have been kept in the embassies of different countries since the 90s. And there are enough of them for many years. Several people have already died from these substances. However, it will never be possible to prove that it was precisely the poisoning.

Disproof

The story advances a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative casting the Navalny poisoning as wholly unconnected to Russia. Clinical findings at the Charité hospital indicated that Navalny 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 Alexei Navalny. 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 searching for 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. Read similar disinformation messages alleging that Navalny is an agent of the Russian special services, that Navalny was not poisoned by Novichok and Russian secret services are not involved, that Alexei Navalny, originally an anti-Russian project, was poisoned by his sponsors, or that the Americans are recouping their long-term investment in Alexei.

The West cannot cope with freedom of opinion and imposes censorship

The West cannot cope with freedom of opinion and imposes censorship. Unfortunately, this is already a customary censorship for the West. They cannot cope with freedom of opinion. On the other hand, Russia remains the world champion when it comes to freedom of opinion: nowhere else is there such a wide range of opinions and statements. We have no fear.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative claiming that the West imposes censorship and that Russia protects freedom of speech and the press. The West does not impose censorship. The European Union as a whole, is committed to respecting the freedom and pluralism of the media as well as the right to freedom of expression - which includes the right to receive and impart information without interference by public authority. This commitment is enshrined in Article 11 of the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights. According to Reporters Without Borders, the freest countries in the world in terms of press freedom are predominantly United States, Canada and European countries, including Norway, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands, Switzerland, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, etc. Russia takes 149th place out of 180 countries, as of the 2020 World Press Freedom Index. Reporters Without Borders writes in its report on Russia's media landscape:

"What with draconian laws, website blocking and Internet cuts, the pressure on independent media has grown steadily since the big anti-government protests in 2011 and 2012. Leading independent news outlets have either been brought under control or throttled out of existence. As TV channels continue to inundate viewers with propaganda, the climate has become very oppressive for those who question the new patriotic and neo-conservative discourse, or just try to maintain quality journalism. (...) Murders and physical attacks against journalists continue to go unpunished – even if campaigns can achieve victories in the face of absurd accusations by the authorities, as in the case of Ivan Golunov, an investigative journalist released in June 2019 after being arrested on a trumped-up drug trafficking charge",

According to Freedom House, all western European and north American countries are "free" with a rating over 90 out of 100 on the index. All EU countries have a score of 70 or higher. On the contrary, Russia is not the world champion when it comes to freedom of opinion. With the index score 20 out of 100 Russian Global Freedom Status is 'not free'. See more similar disinfo narratives alleging that Western governments impose censorship and silence dissidents and that journalism is free in Russia.

USA admits that they support strikes in Belarus

Stephen Biegun, US Undersecretary of State, has announced that the US supports the strikes and protests in Belarus and asks Russia not to interfere. The US State Department says it is not meddling, not supporting anyone, and at the same time, it says it supports the strikes and protests, and Russia must stay out of it. Shouldn’t Russia, too, learn how to do things this way?

Disproof

This is a deliberate misinterpretation of US Undersecretary of State Stephen Biegun's words, and a a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative related to Belarus. The US diplomat did not speak about supporting the protesters - he condemned the violence against Belarusians by the regime of Alexander Lukashenko. The US Undersecretary of State has called for the immediate release of all political prisoners, as well as illegally detained citizens. The diplomat warned that Russia should not "support such a regime that uses violence against civilians. Also earlier, the American diplomat stressed that the United States does not intend to interfere in the internal affairs of Belarus and that it is up to the Belarusian people to decide the course of events in their country. Stephen Biegun has said:

"We urge the government of Belarus to accept the OSCE chair's offer to facilitate dialogue and engage all stakeholders... The United States cannot, and will not, decide the course of events in Belarus. This is the right of the Belarusian people"

Rallies of thousands broke out after Aleksandr Lukashenko declared that he had “won a convincing victory” in the elections.