Lithuania and Estonia do not respect the freedom of speech by restricting the broadcasting of Russian media and Russian journalists.
Alexei Navalny’s options vanished after he accused Vladimir Putin of his poisoning. Not only did most Russian citizens not believe him, many of those that had been indifferent before started seeing him as a person that works for Russia’s enemies. The story of the poisoning is too strange, and it is much more logical that it was Putin’s opponents who tried to kill Navalny to turn him into a ‘sacred victim’. Navalny may believe whatever he wants about his mission to “save Russia from Putin”, but for most he is only a tool in the hands of hostile forces, not only to Putin but to Russia itself.
Navalny simply didn’t have any other option than accelerating his return to Russia. It was clear that it was impossible to leave him in the West, where he would quickly depreciate completely, becoming a second Khodorkovsky. He would be useless in the attempts to “shake the regime”, and who would the West portray as “Putin’s main enemy”? It was necessary to make him return, even despite all the costs and risks. If he is imprisoned, in any case, it will be possible to push the topic “Prior to the elections to the State Duma, the leader of the opposition was persecuted and removed from the contest” for months.
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. 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. 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.
There is massive evidence proving that Navalny was targeted in a poisoning operation, as established by initial clinical findings at the Charité hospital which indicated that he had been poisoned with a substance from the group of cholinesterase inhibitors. Subsequent toxicological tests established the presence of a Novichok-type chemical nerve agent in Navalny's blood.
On 14 December 2020, a special investigation by Bellingcat, The Insider, CNN and Der Spiegel identified members of the Russian FSB unit involved in the attempt on Navalny’s life. According to The New York Times, the report was also consistent with the information on the case gathered by German intelligence services. Bellingcat also provided a detailed account of the methods used to identify the FSB operatives. A week later, on 21 December, Navalny disclosed a recorded conversation in which a member of the suspected FSB poisoning squad describes how his unit carried out, and attempted to clean up evidence of, the poisoning of Alexey Navalny.
See other examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives on Alexei Navalny in our database, such as claims that his anti-corruption foundation has never done any investigation, that he is being helped by Western intelligence services, that only caffeine and alcohol were found in his blood during his alleged poisoning, that the US wanted to use his case to block Russia's vaccine against coronavirus, that the West hopes that he dies to have an excuse for new sanctions, or that Western accusations on Navalny’s case are as false as they were about Sergei Skripal and Alexander Litvinenko.