In the commentary of the Information and Press Department of the MFA of the Russian Federation about the discrepancies and inconsistencies in Aleksey Navalny case published on the Russian Embassy to Poland’s website on 2nd October 2020 we read:
Germany’s actions were so well prepared that they started to raise questions if we do deal with another staging about mystical use of chemical weapons, this time not in Syria nor in the United Kingdom but in Russia. A number of circumstances suggests such conclusions: immediate proposal on the highest level of the readiness of quickly transporting the blogger to Germany for the treatment, the presence of Bundeswehr officers and special military vehicles during Navalny’s transfer, engagement of the highest military and political authorities, who proclaimed the “patient” mentioned above to be their “guest”. It seems that all those organisational matters were a part of the plan to make this incident political with obvious purpose – to accuse Russia of violating the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).
Since the beginning Russia in the case of Navalny adopted the narrative saying that all of it is a German provocation. We described it more deeply in the text Fake: Federal Government of Germany’s actions concerning Aleksey Navalny are glaring hostile provocation against Russia. According to Moscow the point of the Federal Government of Germany’s actions is to discredit Russia on the international arena. Same thesis appears in the commentary of the Information and Press Department of the MFA of the Russian Federation but this time expanded by two additional cases – Syria and the United Kingdom.
Juxtaposing in one sentence proved and confirmed attacks with use of chemical weapons with the events concerning Aleksey Navalny is an audacious and risky communication strategy. Such blatant lie works in fact for Russia’s disadvantage showing that it tries to openly manipulate the public opinion. And indeed, such action would not go unnoticed for anyone but chronical liar, whose lies everyday are pointed out by diplomats and journalists worldwide. There are dozens of proofs for Russian manipulation and disinformation, however all the time we come across new manifestations of it. Why?
It is worth analysing it using the example of the phrase about Syria, the UK and Navalny quoted above. About over a hundred attacks with chemical weapons in Syria reported not only the journalists (e.g. BBC: at least 106 chemical attacks in Syria – https://www.pap.pl) but also the UN investigators. The Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad used the sarin, breaking the CWC. Obviously, the government in Damascus since the very beginning contradicted the information about the use of chemical weapons saying that it was a provocation of the opposition, which used the gases to blame the government. Terms such as “hysterical manipulation” were used at the time. Russia supported al-Assad and joined its efforts to spread the disinformation about the chemical attacks, calling the West’s actions a provocation.
In 2004 Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) arrested Russian spy Sergei Skripal under the charges of espionage for the United Kingdom. He was sentenced for 13 years for the treason. In 2010 Skripal was exchanged for ten Russian agents arrested in the United States and he moved to the United Kingdom. In March 2018 he was poisoned along with his daughter with Novichok nerve agent. Since the beginning, Vladimir Putin belittled the case, mocking the United Kingdom which held the investigation in this case and introduced the sanctions against Russia (e.g. Russian diplomats were expelled). In one of the interviews Putin said that Skripal was in Russia sentenced for the espionage for the United Kingdom, therefore it was their spy, not a Russian one and “the chapter related to the spies and attempts on someone’s life should be closed” (https://wiadomosci.dziennik.pl). At the same time in Russia Victoria Skripal, a cousin of Yulia, who was poisoned with Novichok, started to appear frequently on the First Channel. She was convincing Russians that whose Skripals case is a British provocation against Russia. As it turned out, she was paid for her appearances (https://wyborcza.pl). Both cases show the way of acting of Russian propaganda. It is calculated for dual actions: one is for internal audience – for Russian citizens. They are meant to feel the solidarity with the authorities and to be in constant fear of the West, which lies and manipulates to drag Russia into new provocations all over again. The West should be feared and the best it would be to limit their international activity to Slavic countries, which, according to Dugin’s concept, must stay closely together in a cultural communion. The countries which would not want it themselves, would probably be forced to want it (in this concept Ukraine is not a country, it is supposed to be annexed as a part of Russia). According to the Kremlin’s strategist, Poland should be a country between the East and the West with its traditional conservative values. Because of it, the internal propaganda attack the West being rather merciful for the Slavic countries (of course it does not mean it does not attack them at all – however those attacks serves rather to admonish them, not to stir hatred against them). Propaganda targeted externally has other purposes. Russia fears nothing, has its zones of influence and it will defend them. It is deaf to West’s instructions and, if it has to, it kills. And it will never admit it. You can have a thousand proofs, although it would be better if you do not show them, because you will become Russia’s enemy. And what does Russia do with its enemies? You do not know? Therefore look at Skripal and Navalny. Obviously it is not us – says Putin winking to the West.