Disinfo: West will falsely accuse Russia of poisoning Navalny, as with Skripal and Litvinenko


Whatever happens in the case of Navalny’s illness, the Russian authorities will be accused of poisoning him. After all, Russia has been accused of everything, including the poisoning of the Skripals who, by the way, are alive and well and no one has been brought to trial. I will also remind them of the Litvinenko case, which was not heard in a court of law. There was a forensic investigation, but the Brits refused to prosecute anyone and disregarded all information submitted by Lugovoy and Kovtun [Litvinenko’s alleged poisoners], despite the fact that Lugovoy proved his innocence via a lie detector test conducted by British specialists. All these stories will now be retold, because Russia gets instantly blamed for everything that happens in the world.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives denying Russia's well-documented role in the poisonings of Sergey and Yuliya Skripal in 2018 and of Aleksandr Litvinenko in 2006, as well as casting Western governments and institutions as inherently Russophobic. The UK authorities stated they had gathered sufficient evidence to levy criminal charges against the putative perpetrators of both poisonings. In May 2007, the UK's Crown Prosecution Service charged Andrey Lugovoy with "the murder of Mr Litvinenko by deliberate poisoning." Lugovoy has denied involvement in Litvinenko's death but refused to give testimony to a public inquiry over the crime. In any case, a formal request to extradite the suspect to the UK was denied by Moscow. The claim that Lugovoy "proved his innocence" via a lie detector test administered by "British specialists" is highly misleading. The test took place at a Moscow hotel in 2012, and was conducted by a private polygraph examiner as part of a Russian TV documentary. An 18-month UK inquiry into the Litvinenko murder raised concerns, among other things, about said examiner's "professionalism and judgement" and "the way in which the test was conducted" [pp. 203-4]. It later transpired that Lugovoy had in fact failed that test even though, as a veteran intelligence operative, he was likely to have used "countermeasures" in order to dupe the exam. That said, even a positive result would not have benefited his defence at a criminal trial, given that UK courts do not admit polygraph tests as evidence. In September 2018, the two Russian nationals responsible for poisoning Sergey and Yuliya Skripal were provisionally charged with conspiracy to commit murder, based on the results of a six-month police investigation. The reason neither has stood trial in the UK is because Russia refused to extradite them. Citing Litvinenko's murder as precedent, then-PM Theresa May stated that "any extradition request in this case would be futile." The European Union has condemned what seems to have been an attempt at Alexei Navalny's life. The preliminary test results from the Charité – Universitätsmedizin hospital in Berlin, where he is undergoing treatment, indicate that the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned during his stay in Siberia


  • Reported in: Issue 208
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 20/08/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: UK, Russia
  • Keywords: Skripal, Anti-Russian, Alexei Navalny, Alexander Litvinenko, Russophobia
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Disinfo: Lithuania-trained mercenaries preparing coup d'etat in Belarus

A new training center created in Lithuania (Pabradė) with the assistance of the U.S. military to help with organizing protests in Belarus. It is planned to finance the training of contractors using the fund created to help protesters in Belarus. A new fundraising campaign has been announced by Lithuania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius on Twitter. The funds will be used to help injured protesters, to purchase the necessary equipment, uniforms and gear for combat training. The training of the groups will be carried out by the U.S. military instructors. The Ministry of National Defence of the Republic of Lithuania provides comprehensive logistics support for training. According to the Lithuanian Ministry of Defence, the U.S. instructors demonstrated a wide range of required skills during Exercise Griffin Strike 2020/Hunter 2020 held at the Lithuanian Armed Forces General Silvestras Žukauskas Training Area in Pabradė on August 2-14. The groups are planned to transfer to the territory of Belarus in the near future to provide assistance to the opposition supporters in order to coordinate and directly participate in the protest movement in this country.


The story advances recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about US presence in Europe and protests in Belarus. The article cites an April 2015 Facebook post about a US Army military showcase which happened to be held at the Pabrade Training Area. Pabrade hosts a Lithuanian military training ground, where various national and international exercise take place. The story draws a fictitious link between plans by Poland and Lithuania to offer assistance to Belarusian protesters and the supposed effort to train and arm the anti-Lukashenka opposition. It cites this report, which states that both countries are ready to provide "the victims of repressions" with medical assistance and political asylum, as well as to fund Belarus-based independent media and NGOs. Neither "uniforms and gear for combat training" nor the US military are mentioned. Lastly, the statement by the Lithuanian Defence Ministry was dedicated entirely to the aims and conduct of the Griffin Strike/Hunter 2020 manoeuvres, in which both Lithuanian and US troops participated. The press release mentions neither "US instructors" nor Belarus.

Disinfo: Belarus mobilised its air force fearing an imminent NATO invasion

Belarus put its combat planes Su-30SM on alert due to fears of a NATO invasion. The minister of Defence of the country reported that fighters took off from one of the airbases of the country, and this is due to a foreign invasion by NATO. Independent analysts pointed out that there is no other reason for patrolling the border. Finally, the NATO planes didn’t show up, fearing that this provocation may lead Russia to adopt similar measures, and today Eastern Europe is not ready for any conflict with Russia, even an insignificant one.


Contrary to the claim, according to Belarusian media and authorities, the reported mobilisation of combat planes was part of a scheduled combat training exercise, not because the Belarusian government feared any external military aggression. There is no reason for NATO, a collective defence organisation, to launch an invasion of Belarus. This is part of a Russian disinformation campaign on post-electoral events in Belarus, merged with recurrent pro-Kremlin narratives portraying NATO as an ever-aggressive organisation and Russia as a mighty military power. See other examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives in Belarus, such as claims that the EU reaction to Lukashenko’s victory is an example of Western double standards; that the same lack of democracy and repression is present in EU countries that criticise them in Minsk; that the arrest of Russian mercenaries in Belarus was a Ukrainian provocation, and the Ukrainian secret services may have planned terrorist attacks on Belarusian territory; that the West wants to prepare another Maidan in the country; or that Belarusians, Ukrainians and Russians are one single nation.

Disinfo: The Pentagon purchased equipment for secret biolaboratories for millions of dollars

The Pentagon buys test equipment for Armenia, Georgia and Moldova. The supplier of the goods is a manufacturer of radiation, chemical and biological reconnaissance and control devices for the US Army. On 14 August, the Pentagon’s procurement department signed contracts for the manufacture and supply of special equipment for the Agency for Reducing Threats to National Defence in Armenia, Georgia and Moldova for $ 535,000, $ 962,000 and $ 115,000. This confirms the fact that around the borders of the Russian Federation and around the world, the United States carries out military biological activities. Even the ex-Minister of State Security for Georgia, Igor Giorgadze, talked about equipment for spraying harmful substances with biologically active material. There are secret laboratories in Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Armenia, Tajikistan.


Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the alleged existence of US secret military laboratories near Russia’s borders, in this case in Ukraine, Georgia and other countries. In fact, biological laboratories in Ukraine, Georgia and other countries are involved in preventing the risks of complex diseases and, together with other similar projects, counteracting bioterrorism. The System for Award Management of the US government does indeed contain contractsfor chemical and pharmaceutical products and manufacturing machinery. However, the contracts nowhere say that this equipment will be sent to the scientific laboratories of Armenia, Georgia or Moldova - this is another conspiracy theory of the Russian media. The U.S. Department of Defence's biological threat program isworking in Ukraine to ensure the safe storage of pathogens while conducting peaceful research and developing vaccines. The agreement establishing the Science and Technology Centre in Ukraine was signed by Canada, Sweden, Ukraine and the United States on25 October 1993.In addition to Ukraine, Azerbaijan, the European Union, Georgia, Moldova, the USA and Uzbekistan alljoined the agreement. All data on the mission of international scientific cooperation are in the public domain, and information on scientific and technical laboratories is not "secret". The Ukrainian Security Service urged peoplenot to spread fake news about the alleged presence of American military biological laboratories on the territory of Ukraine. The US Embassy in Ukraine has repeatedly denied the "creation of military biological laboratories" in Ukraine. In 2018, there was a big scandal related to the Georgian scientific laboratory. Then the ex-Minister of State Security of Georgia Igor Giorgadze at a conference in Moscow said that he had received "from friends" documents showing that in Georgia, allegedly, "secret experiments could be carried out on residents." But BBC journalists conducted a large-scale investigation, which proved that all the information spread by the Kremlin about the work of the Georgian technical centre was fake, and Giorgadze himself retracted his words, saying that "he has no evidence of lethal tests in the Lugar laboratory near Tbilisi."