Disinfo: The West used the “Navalny affair” to impose sanctions against Russia


Moscow considers the Navalny affair – the poisoning of opposition leader Alexey Navalny – as an artificial attempt to justify new sanctions against Russia. Western countries have also become involved in the “politically biased leadership of the OPCW” and have influenced its judgment. At the same time, the results of the investigations that Russian authorities received from Germany on the case do not offer substantial evidence regarding Navalny’s poisoning.


Recurring disinformation narrative surrounding the poisoning of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny.

A prominent Russian opposition figure 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.

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.

By the time the EU sanctions were imposed, the fact of Navalny's poisoning with a Novichok-type agent had been solidly established. These findings were later independently corroborated by labs in France and Sweden, and finally confirmed by the OPCW, which stated that [t]he biomarkers of the cholinesterase inhibitor found in Mr Navalny’s blood and urine samples have similar structural characteristics to the toxic chemicals belonging to schedules 1.A.14 and 1.A.15."


  • Reported in: Issue 219
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 06/11/2020
  • Language/target audience: Greek
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: OPCW, West, Alexei Navalny, Sanctions


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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