DISINFO: The West fabricated Navalny poisoning story to maintain myth of Russian aggression
  • Outlet: Pervyi Kanal - YouTube (archived)*
  • Date of publication: February 19, 2021
  • Outlet language(s): Russian
  • Reported in: Issue 232
  • Countries / regions discussed: Europe, EU, UK, Russia
Skripal novichok Sergei Skripal Russian superiority Anti-Russian Alexei Navalny Chemical weapons/attack Maria Zakharova Russophobia

DISINFO: The West fabricated Navalny poisoning story to maintain myth of Russian aggression


The myth of Russian aggression requires periodic stoking if it is to maintain its effect on the Western public.

In the face of Moscow’s good-faith offer to share its pioneering COVID-19 vaccine with the rest of the world, the West was forced to spin a new tale portraying Russia as aggressive. That is why it invented the story of Navalny’s poisoning with a chemical weapon and Russia’s alleged involvement in it. The story itself is based on allegations that the Kremlin was responsible for the 2018 poisoning of Sergey and Yulia Skripal.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives denying Moscow's involvement in the attempted murder of Russian activist Alexei Navalny; dismissing all criticism of Russia's actions, no matter how legitimate or grounded in facts, as a symptom of pathological anti-Russian bias plaguing Western government offices and newsrooms.

Moscow's involvement in the Skripal poisoning was proven in the course of a six-month criminal investigation. The British Police have presented a solid chain of evidence on the Skripal case connecting the suspects to the locations in the case. Parts of the material have been released to the public. The evidence was sufficient to charge two Russian nationals, Anatoliy Chepiga and Aleksandr Mishkin with the attack on the Skripals. Both are Russian military intelligence operatives who travelled to the UK under fake identities. Following this attack, the United Kingdom invited the OPCW to confirm the identity of the substance used in the poisoning and submitted an appropriate notice to the UN Security Council. The OPCW laboratories corroborated the UK’s conclusion that the Skripals had been poisoned with the Russian-made Novichok nerve agent.

The fact of Navalny's poisoning with a Novichok-type agent was established during the activist's stay at the Charite hospital. 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."

Moscow and its media proxies have used similar techniques to obscure Russia's role in the 2018 Skripal poisoning on the one hand, and in the 2020 Navalny poisoning on the other. See here for an overview of parallel narratives which pro-Kremlin media have employed in both incidents.


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