Disinfo: The West and NATO have been working on Novichok compounds for years

Summary

In connection with the categorical claims that toxic chemical compounds of nerve-paralytic activity have been developed in Russia, which are called Novichok in the West, the following should be noted. For many years, experts from many Western countries and NATO’s specialised structures have been working on the compounds contained in this extensive group of chemicals.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on Navalny poisoning and NATO.

NATO Allies condemned in the strongest possible terms the attack on Alexei Navalny and noted that any use of chemical weapons, under any circumstances, is a clear breach of international law and contrary to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which prohibits the use of all chemical weapons.

Novichok nerve agent was developed in Russia in the 1970s and 1980s. It is so unusual that very few scientists outside of Russia have any real experience in dealing with it and no country outside of Russia is known to have developed the substance. See reports written in the aftermath of Skripal poisoning by the British Royal society of chemistry and the Guardian.

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 and they were trying to save his life. Siberian doctors denied allegations on poisoning. Navalny has 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. German government later confirmed that Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was poisoned with a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok.

See related disinformation messages claiming that NATO scientists synthesized Novichok in a lab in Brno, that the West has an interest in the death of Navalny to launch a new wave of sanctions against Russia or that the US hopes that the Navalny case will lead to the cancellation of Nord Stream 2.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 210
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 04/09/2020
  • Language/target audience: Czech
  • Country: Russia, US
  • Keywords: Alexei Navalny, NATO

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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Disproof

This is a conspiracy which is consistent with a number of recurring pro-Kremlin propaganda narratives about the aggressive West, its attempts to encircle Russia and organise colour revolutions in the post-Soviet space and about the West's attempts to disrupt Russias ties with other post-Soviet countries.

This narrative portrays any spontaneous disorders and civil uprisings in other states, especially the former Soviet republics, as West-funded Anti-Russian and Russophobic "coups" and attempts by the West to overthrow regimes in post-Soviet states and in other regions.

Alexei Navalny was not poisoned, he suffered from a metabolic disorder

A Russian opposition politician, blogger and critic of the current regime Alexei Navalny suffered a metabolic disorder that made him feel bad on the plane, and the plane had to make an emergency landing in Omsk, where he was given all the care. All necessary tests have been performed in Omsk to show that this is not poisoning but a metabolic disorder.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on Navalny poisoning.

Alexei Navalny was under the pressure of his family 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.

Protests in Belarus are coordinated by Western countries and the opposition wants bloodshed

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Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about protests in Belarus.

The European Union has not recognised the election because of widespread reports of vote-rigging. European Council President Charles Michel stated that “[t]he protests in Belarus are not about geopolitics. This is about the right of the People to freely elect their leadership”.