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

Date
Title
Outlets
Country
08.09.2020
  • politnavigator.net
Russia
07.09.2020
  • News Front - French,
  • News Front - English,
  • InfoRuss,
  • News Front - Serbian,
  • News Front - German,
  • News Front - Spanish,
  • Zhurnalistskaya pravda
Russia
07.09.2020
  • Sputnik Armenia - Russian
Germany
07.09.2020
  • asd.news
Russia
07.09.2020
  • novorosinform.org
Ukraine, Russia
07.09.2020
  • Sputnik Greece,
  • Sputnik English
Germany, Russia
07.09.2020
  • RT France
France, US, Russia
06.09.2020
  • Sputnik Greece
Germany, Russia
06.09.2020
  • Sputnik Czech
Germany, Russia
06.09.2020
  • nahnews.org
EU, US, Ukraine
06.09.2020
  • oroszhirek.hu
Germany, US, Russia
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, US, Russia
05.09.2020
  • asd.news
UK, Germany, US, Russia
05.09.2020
  • Sputnik Germany
EU, Germany, US, Russia
05.09.2020
  • Radio Sputnik RIA
Germany, US, Russia
04.09.2020
  • SouthFront - English
France, Germany, US, Belarus, Russia
04.09.2020
  • nk.org.ua
Germany, US, Russia
04.09.2020
  • politnavigator.net
EU, Slovakia, USSR, Czech Republic, Russia
04.09.2020
  • mejdurecie.md,
  • inosmi.ru
EU, Germany, US, Russia
04.09.2020
  • Sputnik Spain
Russia
04.09.2020
  • Sputnik Spain
Russia
04.09.2020
  • Sputnik Germany
EU, Germany, Russia
04.09.2020
  • Sputnik South-Ossetia
EU, Belarus, Russia
04.09.2020
  • Sputnik Czech
US, Russia
04.09.2020
  • NTV - YouTube,
  • NTV - YouTube
Syria, Russia
04.09.2020
  • Ria Novosti
Poland, Germany, Belarus, Russia
04.09.2020
  • vesti.ru
Russia
04.09.2020
  • fedpress.ru
Germany, Russia
03.09.2020
  • vz.ru
Poland, Belarus, Lithuania, Baltic states, Russia
03.09.2020
  • RT Germany - YouTube
Germany, Russia
03.09.2020
  • asd.news,
  • News Front - Russian
Germany, Russia
03.09.2020
  • abudhabi-news.com,
  • abudhabi-news.com,
  • akhbarak.net,
  • akhbarak.net,
  • akhbaralyawm.com,
  • akherkhabrtoday.com,
  • akherkhabrtoday.com,
  • alhadafnews.com,
  • almadenahnews.com,
  • almarsad.co,
  • Al Minasa Press,
  • alvefaghonline.ir,
  • annaharar.com,
  • RT Arabic ,
  • RT Arabic ,
  • bawabaa.org,
  • beiruttimes.com,
  • copts-united.com,
  • dmcnews.org,
  • dmcnews.org,
  • dmcnews.org,
  • elaph.com,
  • emeknes.com,
  • emeknes.com,
  • Gulf 365,
  • Head Topics,
  • Head Topics,
  • jbcnews.net,
  • jpnews-sy.com,
  • kachaf.com,
  • kol-masr.com,
  • lomazoma.com,
  • lomazoma.com,
  • mulhak.com,
  • nabd.com,
  • news-sinaa.com,
  • news-sinaa.com,
  • news-sinaa.com,
  • news.albraq-news.com,
  • saadaonline.net,
  • sahafah24,
  • sahafaty.net,
  • shamra,
  • skay.press,
  • skay.press,
  • yaf3press.net,
  • yaf3press.net,
  • yaf3press.net,
  • yaf3press.net,
  • yjc.ir
UK, Russia
03.09.2020
  • antimaydan.info,
  • I Gryanul Grem - YouTube
Germany, Russia
03.09.2020
  • tert.am
Germany, Belarus, Russia
03.09.2020
  • Sputnik Poland
Poland, Germany, Russia
03.09.2020
  • Sputnik Poland
Poland, Belarus, Russia
03.09.2020
  • Sputnik Poland
Germany, US, Belarus, Russia
03.09.2020
  • News Front - German
Germany, Russia
03.09.2020
  • Sputnik Greece
Germany, Russia
03.09.2020
  • Sputnik Greece
Poland, Germany, Belarus, Russia
03.09.2020
  • News Front - Spanish
Germany, Russia
03.09.2020
  • Ria Novosti,
  • Sputnik Georgia - Russian,
  • vz.ru
Georgia, US
03.09.2020
  • RT France - YouTube
UK, Russia
03.09.2020
  • Sputnik English
Germany, Russia
03.09.2020
  • RT France - YouTube
Ukraine
02.09.2020
  • News.am
Hong Kong, Venezuela, US, Belarus, Ukraine
02.09.2020
  • News.am
Russia
02.09.2020
  • RIAFAN - Russian
Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia
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
Belarus, Ukraine
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
Russia
02.09.2020
  • Sputnik Spain
Russia
02.09.2020
  • Sputnik South-Ossetia
Georgia, US, Russia
02.09.2020
  • Sputnik Italia
Germany, Russia
02.09.2020
  • Sputnik English,
  • 60 minut @Rossiya 1 - YouTube,
  • RT English,
  • RT Russia,
  • Sputnik Spain,
  • Sputnik Czech,
  • Sputnik Germany,
  • Sputnik France,
  • Sputnik Italia
Germany, Russia
02.09.2020
  • Ria Novosti
Belarus, Ukraine, Russia
01.09.2020
  • 60 minut @Rossiya 1 - YouTube
Poland, Belarus
01.09.2020
  • Pervyi Kanal
USSR, Ukraine, Russia
01.09.2020
  • Pervyi Kanal
EU, Poland, Russia
01.09.2020
  • gazeta.ru
EU, UK, Russia
01.09.2020
  • Sputnik Poland
Poland, Russia
01.09.2020
  • Sputnik Poland
Poland, Russia
01.09.2020
  • Sputnik Poland
Poland, Germany, US
01.09.2020
  • Sputnik Armenia - Russian
Estonia, Baltic states, Russia
01.09.2020
  • kp.ru
Ukraine
01.09.2020
  • Kommersant,
  • Izvestia,
  • Embassy of Russia in the USA - Facebook,
  • Sputnik Lithuania - Russian,
  • Interfax Militarynews,
  • 47news.ru,
  • TASS - Russian,
  • Ria Novosti,
  • 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 - Russian,
  • ustinka.kz,
  • nevainfo.ru
US, Estonia
31.08.2020
  • akhbarak.net,
  • albidda.net,
  • alderaah-news.net,
  • RT Arabic ,
  • belpresse.com,
  • eltakrer.com,
  • emeknes.com,
  • Head Topics,
  • jpnews-sy.com,
  • kol-masr.com,
  • libanaujourdhui.com,
  • midline-news.net,
  • mtv.com.lb,
  • nabd.com,
  • nna.iq,
  • nna.iq,
  • ru4arab.ru,
  • Sahafaty,
  • sahat-altahreer.com,
  • shamra,
  • sns.sy,
  • rightnowtimes.com
Serbia, US, Belarus
31.08.2020
  • Sputnik Arabic,
  • Sputnik Arabic,
  • akhbarak.net,
  • New Hub,
  • egyptianguardan.com,
  • newsformy.com,
  • newsaliraq.com,
  • etleboro.org
Russia
30.08.2020
  • RT Arabic ,
  • Khabar Masr,
  • newsformy.com,
  • mail.khabaralyoum.com
Germany, Russia
30.08.2020
  • gazeta.ru
Belarus
30.08.2020
  • Russkiy Patriot - YouTube
EU, Ukraine
29.08.2020
  • News Front - Hungarian
Belarus
28.08.2020
  • Katehon - Spanish, Castilian
Spain
27.08.2020
  • RT Arabic ,
  • dowwar.com,
  • New Hub,
  • alaan.org,
  • Khabar Masr,
  • ertikaznews.com,
  • algerie9.com,
  • newsformy.com,
  • Khabar One,
  • nadormagazine.com
US, Russia
25.08.2020
  • News Rambler
EU, Russia
23.08.2020
  • Sputnik Czech,
  • Sputnik Czech
Belarus, Russia
22.08.2020
  • Sputnik Armenia - Russian
US, Russia
21.08.2020
  • versia.ru
Germany, Russia
19.08.2020
  • Tsargrad TV,
  • eadaily.com
Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Moldova, Georgia, US, Ukraine, Russia
15.08.2020
  • Iravunk.com
Lebanon, US, Belarus
14.08.2020
  • RIAFAN - Russian
EU, Ukraine
08.07.2020
  • Sputnik Armenia - Russian
Russia