Disinfo: The West fabricated the story about Navalny being poisoned

Summary

The West fabricated the story about Alexei Navalny’s alleged poisoning [with chemical weapons], to support its perception of “Russia’s aggression”.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative portraying the poisoning of prominent Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny as staged and targeted against Russia.

The prominent Russian opposition leader Alexei 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. At the request of the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 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.

In its turn, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), where Russia is a member, issued a statement verifying previous statements by the German authorities. Several reports have indicated that the OPCW tests showed that blood and urine samples contained a "cholinesterase inhibitor" similar to two Novichok chemicals that were banned by the Hague-based body in 2019. The OPCW findings corroborated earlier independent conclusions by German, French, and Swedish laboratories.

Navalny is charged with mock accusations in trials that the European Court of Human Rights has described as politically motivated. The European Union has condemned the detention of Alexei Navalny and called for his immediate release.

Read also similar disinformation cases in our database alleging that the Western intelligence agencies are working with Navalny, or that the West will falsely accuse Russia of poisoning Navalny, as with Skripal and Litvinenko; or that Navalny is a depleted political project; or that the West needs Alexei Navalny to destabilise the situation in Russia.

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  • Reported in: Issue 232
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 19/02/2021
  • Outlet language(s) Arabic
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Germany, Russia
  • Keywords: novichok, West, Anti-Russian, Alexei Navalny, Destabilising Russia, Maria Zakharova, Russophobia
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Russia does not need to take part in the information war

The leading mass media of the world is controlled by American and European Special Forces. Russia is not losing the information war – Russia simply does not participate in it.

It is an uneven fight, and the West wages the war the wrong way. We also have those possibilities. Many journalists, who respect their professions look to us. It is not a coincidence that the members of the British parliament follows RT: they understand that non-biased journalists work there.

Disproof

It cannot be excluded that British parliamentarians occasionally view RT, but the claim on RT journalists being “un-biased” is not correct. The British media licensing body, OFCOM, deprived the RT broadcast rights, due to the outlet’s failure to abide to British licensing rules for impartial reporting.

The claim on Russia “not taking part in the information war” can also be challenged. The RT editor-in-chief, Margarita Simonyan, has repeatedly claimed RT as a part of Russia’s efforts in an information war.

The ECHR decision on Navalny undermines the Court's credibility

The decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Navalny undermines the credibility of this structure. This decision is not supported by any facts and contradicts Russia’s domestic laws as well as international law.

The ECHR’s demand to release blogger Alexei Navalny is a very serious attempt to interfere in the Russian judicial system, which is unacceptable.

Disproof

The claim is made in light of the recent decision by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which was published on 17 February 2021. The ECHR decided “to indicate to the Government of Russia, under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, to release the applicant [Navalny]… This measure shall apply with immediate effect.” The Court explains this decision as follows:

The Court had regard to the nature and extent of risk to the applicant’s life, demonstrated prima facie for the purposes of applying the interim measure, and seen in the light of the overall circumstances of the applicant’s current detention. This measure has been granted without prejudice to the Court’s decision on the merits of the present case and the competence of the Committee of Ministers.

The European Court of Human Rights was set up by the Council of Europe in 1959 as a supervisory mechanism to monitor respect for the human rights of 800 million Europeans in the 47 Council of Europe member States that have ratified the European Convention on Human Rights. Russia, both as a member of the Council of Europe and as a signatory of the Convention, has committed to the respect of human rights, democracy and the rule of law and undertook to secure a number of fundamental rights and freedoms to everyone within its jurisdiction.

As follows, the decision made by the ECHR does not contradict any laws and does not represent interference in the Russian judicial system. As The Guardian writes and as the court notes:

EMA's delay in approving Sputnik V is political

It appears that the delay in approval by the European Medicines Agency is related to political or geopolitical reasons, not medical, and this is a mistake, especially at a time when there is a need to vaccinate citizens to get out of a social and economic emergency as well as health emergencies.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative aiming to promote the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. The claim was neither counterbalanced nor critically challenged in the article.

All vaccines, authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), are welcome in the EU. As of the 17 February 2021, the producer of the Sputnik V vaccine has not submitted a market authorisation to the European Medicines Agency.