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.


  • Reported in: Issue 232
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 19/02/2021
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Europe, EU, UK, Russia
  • Keywords: Skripal, novichok, Sergei Skripal, Russian superiority, Anti-Russian, Alexei Navalny, Chemical weapons/attack, Maria Zakharova, Russophobia
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Disinfo: Kharkiv is Russian city, Ukrainians live under political repressions

Due to intimidation and political pressure, Ukrainians keep quiet. However, if political repressions are relaxed, it will turn out that Odesa did not forget anything and that Kharkiv is a Russian city.


A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the Russian world/civilisation and Ukrainian disintegration. Kharkiv is a major cultural, educational, and industrial centre of Ukraine, the second-largest Ukrainian city. It was the first capital of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, from December 1919 to January 1934, after which the capital relocated to Kyiv.

Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by almost the whole world, including the EU -with the notable exception of Russia. Its borders are guaranteed by international agreements but were de facto violated by Russia in 2014. Contrary to the claim about political repressions in Ukraine and alleged intimidation to speak out, Ukraine does much better than Russia in global rankings of democratic freedoms and press freedom.

Disinfo: Ukraine has become a Western project after a military coup

Russia, of course, recognises the Ukrainian state, but the real Ukrainian state. The moment when a military coup took place with the complicity of several Western countries, it turned into a project for these Western countries.


This is a longstanding pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine's Euromaidan protests depicting the 2013-14 revolution as a coup d'état, orchestrated by the Western countries.

Ever since the 1970s, the EU has adopted an independent role in global affairs, an identity based on peace and stability and the rule of law, in addition to pursuing a foreign policy premised on achieving peace for the world. Supporting democracy worldwide is a priority for the European Union, and allegations that protests around the world are incited and/or funded by Western states, such as colour revolutions in post-Soviet states, the Arab Spring revolts, Euromaidan in Ukraine, protests in Catalonia, is recurring disinformation presented without evidence.

Disinfo: 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.


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.