Disinfo: The West needs Navalny to create new “Maidans”

Summary

Western countries need this “activist” [Alexei Navalny] to destabilise the situation in Russia, for social upheaval, strikes, and new Maidans.

We have the example of Ukraine where this can lead to, with Ukraine in practice having lost its independence.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, aiming to deflect the authorities' responsibility in his poisoning attempt and to discredit him by portraying him as a puppet of the West, and another example of disinformation narratives about the 2013-2014 Maidan protests and Ukrainian statehood.

Contrary to the claim, which is not backed by any evidence, Alexei Navalny is an independent Russian politician, not a pawn of any foreign government.

To be precise, Navalny is the founder and leader of the "Anti-Corruption Foundation" (FBK), which has investigated embezzlement from the state budget. He was arrested following his return to Russia from Germany, where he was treated for poisoning with Novichok-type chemical nerve agent, and the European Union has condemned his arrest and has demanded his immediate release.

His decision to return to Russia is related to his refusal to become an exile and to internal deliberations of his political movement, not to any order from abroad.

Furthermore and contrary to the claim, Ukraine is a sovereign and independent state with a democratically-elected president and parliament and it is not falling apart. It has a functioning government, embassies in other countries, judicial, law enforcement, and other authorities. It is a democratic country where people can choose the president, the parliament, and local administration.

Ukraine is not controlled by any foreign government or organisation: neither the USA, IMF, NATO, the West or George Soros. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by almost the whole world, including the EU.

The massive mobilisations against the governments of Ukraine in 2013, the Euromaidan protests, were not destabilisation operations orchestrated from abroad, but a result of the Ukrainian people's frustration with former President Yanukovych's last-minute U-turn when, after seven years of negotiation, he refused to sign the EU–Ukraine Association Agreement and halted progress towards Ukraine's closer relationship with the EU as a result of Russian pressure. Without forgetting that the war in the Donbas region is not a civil conflict but a well-documented act of aggression by Russian armed forces, ongoing since February 2014.

See other examples in our database, such as claims that NATO is preparing colour revolutions; that Ukrainian protests were a coup or the root cause of the war and the collapse of the country; or that the CIA will try to repeat a Maidan scenario; that Alexei Navalny’s movement is linked to the colour revolution programme; or that the US used Navalny case to block Russian vaccine against COVID-19.

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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Russia’s superiority forces western spies to act now

“Navalny’s supporters”, or, to put it simply, the henchmen of the US Democratic Party, will continue to organise protests up to the parliamentary elections in September 2021. After the elections they will declare that the “election was stolen” and summon the mutinists for a decisive attack.

Why is this attack happening in 2021, why did they not prepare it earlier or later? Why did the western special forces decide to go ahead on operation “Navalny” last summer and only now give order on a killing blow on the Russian state? The answer is obvious: in 2020 Russia demonstrated its superiority compared to the united West.

Disproof

A combination of several disinformation tropes, employed by pro-Kremlin outlets: the concept of”Russian superiority”, of “Western aggression” and a recurrent narrative about expressions of popular discontent as results of foreign involvement.

Anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny has long been the most prominent face of Russian opposition to President Vladimir Putin. His candidacy in the 2018 presidential election was banned by authorities over his conviction by a Russian court of embezzlement, which bars him from running for office. He has been arrested and imprisoned several times during his political career.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine instructs on how to report Russian-speaking citizens

The Ukrainian Armed Forces’ General Staff has drawn up instructions on how to report citizens, speaking Russian.

Disproof

This is a pro-Kremlin narrative that Ukrainians allegedly reject the Russian language and are anti-Russian.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have not developed instructions on reporting Russian-speaking citizens. On their official Facebook page, they posted the directions to ensure that Article 30 of the Law of Ukraine "On ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the state language" is upheld, and the actions that should be followed if the law is violated.