There are numerous parallels to draw, and the pro-Kremlin media has scrambled in an attempt to draw as many as possible.

In a striking case of déja vu, pro-Kremlin media is seeking to muddy the waters surrounding the suspected poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny just like it did in 2018 with the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal. The similarities between disinformation messages spread during both incidents are clear: in both cases, the poisonings were described as external provocations, staged by the West or by Britain to impose sanctions and create anti-Russian propaganda. Pro-Kremlin media also presents the poisonings as a sign of domestic political struggle in Germany and UK.

Such claims are coupled with the usual denial: “there is no evidence that Navalny was poisoned” or that “London has no evidence of Moscow’s complicity in the Skripals’ poisoning”. The “no cooperation” narrative also echoes similar claims: “Berlin stubbornly refuses to cooperate and provide information” or allegations that the British government ignored Russia’s constructive cooperation proposals.

As for scapegoats, pro-Kremlin media has always had interesting ideas. In both poisoning cases, they consistently blamed Western special forces and services. In the case of Navalny, pro-Kremlin media also claimed his coma was caused by a diet, (without elaborating on the special service where the dietologist works). As for the Skripal case, alcoholism, drug addiction, poor health and eventually suicide were described as occupational diseases for ex-spies. Plain and simple, and nothing to do with special services in this case!

In the same attempt to clear the image, pro-Kremlin media was and still is stating that Novichok is produced in the United States. In what could also appear as veiled criticism of American manufacturing quality, pro-Kremlin media also claims that Novichok usually causes convulsions and death, not coma. And after all, “what kind of military poison is it if nobody died?”

In addition to the repetitive and dismissive nature of pro-Kremlin disinformation, these narratives also highlight a certain lack of respect towards human life. Instead, pro-Kremlin media seems to gently push the reader towards a seat in the arena where the elite, secret services and national states are allegedly fighting for world domination. The goal of this action-packed media game seems to be gaining popular support for the home team, which is always winning despite allegedly unfair play of those in the West.

Only Russia can have military exercises

Last but not least, a Facebook post by the Russian embassy in the United States criticised military exercises in Estonia with participation of US soldiers. The US should not train in a NATO member state because it is provocative and dangerous for regional stability, so goes the argument. While these messages spread across more than 20 Russian websites, its social media engagement was marginal. Perhaps the public argument has far better appreciation of NATO’s collective defence stance than government.


related disinfo cases

01.09.2020
Kommersant, izvestia.ru, Facebook resource, Sputnik Lithuania - Russian, Interfax Militarynews, 47news.ru, tass.ru, ria.ru, gazeta.ru, Inforos, narpolit.com, 39rus.org, Argumenty i Fakty, rg.ru, rostov.tsargrad.tv, rossaprimavera.ru, 360tv.ru, Baltijas Balss.lv, politinformburo.ru, rodina.ru, riafan.ru, ustinka.kz, nevainfo.ru
Estonia, US
05.09.2020
Radio Sputnik RIA
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06.09.2020
oroszhirek.hu
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04.09.2020
fedpress.ru
Russia, Germany
21.08.2020
versia.ru
Russia, Germany
07.09.2020
RT France
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02.09.2020
ria.ru
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08.09.2020
politnavigator.net
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03.09.2020
Sputnik English
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04.09.2020
vesti.ru
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03.09.2020
RT France - YouTube
Ukraine
04.09.2020
ria.ru
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04.09.2020
NTV - YouTube, NTV - YouTube
Russia, Syria
07.09.2020
Sputnik Greece, Sputnik English
Russia, Germany
02.09.2020
Sputnik English, 60 minut @Rossiya 1 - YouTube, RT English, RT Russia, Sputnik Spain, Sputnik Czech, Sputnik Germany, Sputnik France, Sputnik Italia
Russia, Germany
07.09.2020
Sputnik Armenia - Russian
Germany
07.09.2020
novorosinform.org
Russia, Ukraine
03.09.2020
RT France - YouTube
UK, Russia
06.09.2020
nahnews.org
EU, Ukraine, US
07.09.2020
News Front - French, News Front - English, InfoRuss, News Front - Serbian, News Front - German, News Front - Spanish, Zhurnalistskaya pravda
Russia
01.09.2020
kp.ru
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04.09.2020
Sputnik Czech
Russia, US
02.09.2020
News.am
Russia
06.09.2020
Sputnik Czech
Russia, Germany
23.08.2020
Sputnik Czech, Sputnik Czech
Russia, Belarus
04.09.2020
Sputnik South-Ossetia
EU, Russia, Belarus
04.09.2020
Sputnik Germany
EU, Russia, Germany
02.09.2020
Sputnik South-Ossetia
Russia, US, Georgia
02.09.2020
Sputnik Italia
Russia, Germany
05.09.2020
Sputnik Germany
EU, Russia, US, Germany
05.09.2020
asd.news
UK, Russia, US, Germany
07.09.2020
asd.news
Russia
03.09.2020
ria.ru, Sputnik Georgia - Russian, vz.ru
US, Georgia
04.09.2020
Sputnik Spain
Russia
04.09.2020
Sputnik Spain
Russia
02.09.2020
Sputnik Spain
Russia
28.08.2020
Katehon - Spanish, Castilian
Spain
03.09.2020
News Front - Spanish
Russia, Germany
04.09.2020
mejdurecie.md, inosmi.ru
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06.09.2020
Sputnik Greece
Russia, Germany
05.09.2020
albidda.net, albidda.net, alderaah-news.net, alhilalalyoum.com, Al Minasa Press, Sputnik Arabic, dmcnews.org, dmcnews.org, egyptianguardan.com, emeknes.com, emeknes.com, lomazoma.com, news.albraq-news.com, newsaliraq.com, sahafatak.net, skay.press, uk-arabicnews.com, urdupoint.com, yaf3press.net, yaf3press.net
UK, Russia, US
01.09.2020
Sputnik Armenia - Russian
Russia, Baltic states, Estonia
03.09.2020
Sputnik Greece
Russia, Belarus, Germany, Poland
03.09.2020
Sputnik Greece
Russia, Germany
03.09.2020
News Front - German
Russia, Germany
01.09.2020
Sputnik Poland
US, Germany, Poland
01.09.2020
Sputnik Poland
Russia, Poland
03.09.2020
Sputnik Poland
Russia, Belarus, US, Germany
03.09.2020
Sputnik Poland
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03.09.2020
Sputnik Poland
Russia, Germany, Poland
01.09.2020
Sputnik Poland
Russia, Poland
02.09.2020
akhbarak.net, Alalam TV, albaosala.net, RT Arabic , ashariealjadid.com, dearborn.org, dmcnews.org, dmcnews.org, emeknes.com, emeknes.com, ertikaznews.com, eshraag.com, gomhuriaonline, kachaf.com, kol-masr.com, news-sinaa.com, news.albraq-news.com, newsaliraq.com, rasd.news, Sahafah 24, sahafah24, sahafahnet.net, shamra, skay.press, skay.press, Syria friends, wakalaagency.com, yaf3press.net, yaf3press.net, RT Arabic
Ukraine, Belarus
02.09.2020
3yonnews.com, abudhabi-news.com, abudhabi-news.com, abudhabi-news.com, addiyar.com, akhbarak.net, akherkhabrtoday.com, akherkhabrtoday.com, alabdle.org, albawabhnews.com, alderaah-news.net, alderaah-news.net, alliraqnews.com, almanar.com.lb, almanartv.com.lb, almasalah.com, RT Arabic , bald-news.com, cawalisse.com, dmcnews.org, dmcnews.org, dmcnews.org, dmcnews.org, dmcnews.org, dmcnews.org, dmcnews.org, egypt14.com, elkanananews.com, eltakrer.com, emeknes.com, emeknes.com, emeknes.com, emeknes.com, emeknes.com, eshraag.com, eshraag.com, gomhuriaonline, gulfeyes.net, gulfeyes.net, ham-24.com, hamrinnews.net, hamrinnews.net, kachaf.com, kol-masr.com, lomazoma.com, manartv.com.lb, maqar.com, masralyoum.net, mawazin.net, news-sinaa.com, news-sinaa.com, news.albraq-news.com, news.albraq-news.com, onews.ma, pressbee.net, saadaonline.net, saadaonline.net, saadaonline.net, sabq.org, sada-ar.com, Sahafah 24, news.sahafahn.net, sawahpress.com, shamra, sinmarnews.com, skay.press, skay.press, skay.press, Syria friends, Theworldnews.net, todaynewsiq.net, uk-arabicnews.com, uk-arabicnews.com, news.sahafahn.net, yaf3press.net, yaf3press.net, yaf3press.net, yaf3press.net, yaf3press.net, yemen-now.net, yemen-press.net
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04.09.2020
nk.org.ua
Russia, US, Germany
04.09.2020
politnavigator.net
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03.09.2020
antimaydan.info, I Gryanul Grem - YouTube
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15.08.2020
Iravunk.com
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22.08.2020
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03.09.2020
asd.news, News Front - Russian
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tert.am
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01.09.2020
gazeta.ru
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04.09.2020
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03.09.2020
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31.08.2020
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31.08.2020
Sputnik Arabic, Sputnik Arabic, akhbarak.net, New Hub, egyptianguardan.com, newsformy.com, newsaliraq.com, etleboro.org
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01.09.2020
Pervyi kanal
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01.09.2020
Pervyi kanal
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02.09.2020
riafan.ru
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01.09.2020
60 minut @Rossiya 1 - YouTube
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30.08.2020
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30.08.2020
gazeta.ru
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27.08.2020
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25.08.2020
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30.08.2020
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29.08.2020
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19.08.2020
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