FiB

15 juli 2021

Aftonbladets naiva tro på Navalnyj


Al Burke har reagerat på Aftonbladets naiva tilltro till  Aleksej Navalnyjs politiska budskap (se bilden från 14 juli), inklusive versionen att FSB på order av Putin förgiftat honom med Novitjok.

Han gör det bl.a. med stöd av vad som stått på denna sajt och vad den brittiske f d ambassadören Craig Murray har skrivit.Al Burke: Viktiga frågor fortfarande obesvarade


Jag har läst Aftonbladets senaste insats för att sprida offer- och hjältesagan om Aleksej Navalnyj mot den onda ryska staten — Maria Zennströms häpnadsväckande okritiska hyllning i gårdagens upplaga till boken Putins värsta fiende och dess skapare, Kalle Kniivilä som påstås vara särskilt väl lämpad att berätta sagan därför att han bl.a. varit ”pressattaché på svenska ambassaden i Moskva”.

Den som å andra sidan vill veta sanningen om fallet kunde väl börja med bifogat axplock av texter som inleds med ett par inlägg av Stefan Lindgren, en av Sveriges främsta Rysslandskännare. Han lyfter fram några av de många oklarheter och konstigheter i den nu etablerade Navalnyj-sagan och ställer en del högst relevanta frågor som fortfarande är obesvarade — och som tycks intressera varken Kalle Kniivilä eller Maria Zennström.

Detta påfallande ointresse bör dock inte förvåna: Redan september förra året skrev Stefan Lindgren: ”Påståendena att den ryske, västsponsrade bloggaren, Aleksej Navalnyj har förgiftats med nervgiftet ’Novitjok’ cirkulerar nu som en redan etablerad sanning.… Ingen kommer att ifrågasätta det.”

Just därför och med tanke på hans stora kunskaper i denna och besläktade frågor vore det passande för Aftonbladet att be Stefan Lindgren att skriva en replik till Maria Zennströms partsinlägg.

Men om det har bestämts att herr Lindgren av någon anledning — som ju vore bra att bli upplyst om — aldrig skall få tillträde till Aftonbladets fina sidor, skulle Craig Murray kanske vara acceptabel? Som framgår av hans inlägg i bilagan har denne f.d. brittiske ambassadör ställt många av samma frågor om Navalnyj-sagan.

Eller varför inte professor John Ryan vars detaljerade och ordentligt välgrundade analys börjar på sid. 9 i bilagan?


Jag har för resten ägnat tid och möda åt detta meddelande/förslag, trots min uppfattning att Aftonbladet inte alls är intresserat i sanningen om bl.a. denna fråga — och detta är jag knappast ensam om. Det vore oerhört glädjande att få veta att vi har haft fel.


Med vänlig hälsning,
Al Burke
 

Navalny case — mainstream narrative

Tyskland har olagliga lager av "novitjok"

Stefan Lindgren

8 Dagar

3 september 2020

Påståendena att den ryske, västsponsrade bloggaren, Aleksej Navalnyj har förgiftats med nervgiftet "Novitjok" cirkulerar nu som en redan etablerad sanning.

I Dagens Nyheter är det Anna-Lena Laurén som serverar påståendet på första sidan.

Ingen kommer att ifrågasätta det.

Men i själva verket finns det en rad skäl att ifrågasätta påståendet.

1) Påståendet kommer inte från Charité-läkarna. Dessa har för övrigt inte ens med säkerhet påstått att det rör sig om en förgiftning, utan bara har talat om sannolikheter.

2) Blodprover har gått från Charité till den tyska underrättelsetjänsten Bundesnach-richtendiensts labb i Bayern. Regeringsuttalandet som anklagar Kreml för att ha förgiftat Navalnyj med Novitjok kom av allt att döma redan innan BND slutfört sin analys. Det är alltså ren politik, antagligen förknippat med den pågående striden i den tyska eliten om relationerna till USA och Ryssland.

3) Det påstås att BND har jämfört proverna med Novitjok-preparat och kommit fram till att det rör sig om ett gift "ur den gruppen". En som omedelbart reagerade var Alastair Hay, professor emeritus i miljötoxikologi, University of Leeds, och ledande medlem av "Läkare för mänskliga rättigheter". Dr. Hay har forskat på kemiska och biologiska vapen i nästan 40 år. Han oroas av uppgifterna från Tyskland eftersom de avslöjar att ett tyskt militärlaboratorium har tillgång till odeklarerade mängder av Novitjok.

Deras innehav, förutom små mängder för att utveckla behandlingar, analys-system och försvarsåtgärder, är olagligt. Alla kvantiteter Novitjok som innehas av regeringar måste deklareras och lagren inventeras."

https://phr.org/news/chemical-weapons-experts-statement-on-poisoning-of-alexei-navalny/

4) "Enbart kemisk analys kommer aldrig att kunna visa vem som är förövaren", framhåller Marc-Michael Blum, en biokemist som ledde det team som skickades av Organisationen för förbud mot kemiska vapen till (OPCW) Salisbury och Amesbury för att undersöka fallet Skripal m.fl. För att fastställa vad som skett och vem förövaren är krävs alltid gediget polisarbete, framhåller han.

"Även om man hittar små mängder gift i hans kropp är koncentrationerna så låga att det inte har ett fingeravtryck eller signatur som gör att man kan säga: Åh, baserat på dessa egenskaper eller orenheter, gjordes det antagligen på det här eller det sättet." (Se: ‘There are better poisons if you really want to kill someone’ The chemical weapons expert who led the OPCW’s mission to Salisbury after the Novichok attack on the Skripals explains Alexey Navalny’s situation — Meduza )

Inom parentes kan nämnas att OPCW:s analys av prover från Salisbury inte fastställde någon koppling till Ryssland. Motsatsen har flitigt påståtts i media och även av OPCW-tjänstemän.

 5) Ytterligare oklarheter:

 Rysslandsspecialisten Martin McCauley påpekar i ett samtal med RT att media jämför med fallet Skripal i Salisbury, när det i själva verket är mycket olikt detta fall.

 ”Ingen av dem som satt bredvid Navalnyj på planet eller kom nära, blev förgiftade.... endast en vetenskaplig specialist, en toxikolog, kunde förklara hur detta är möjligt: ​​ i ett fall  förgiftades flera personer med ämnet på en gång, och i fallet Navalnyj var det bara en”.

 En medlem av det tyska vänsterpartiet, Bijan Tavassoli, påpekar i en intervju med RT att Navalnyjs  blodprover skickats till en rad privata laboratorier i landet, men inget av dem har hittat spår av giftiga ämnen. Bara den tyska militären sa sig ha hittat spår av Novitjok i analyserna.

6) Ryssland har vänt sig till Tyskland med en begäran om samarbete i utredningen om vad som har hänt Navalnyj. Tyskland har nu svarat med att skrika i megafon: "Kreml, mördare!"

 Varför önskar Berlin omöjliggöra en utredning som faktiskt förutsätter förtroendefullt samarbete?

7) Slutligen den klassiska frågan "Cui bono?" — vem har nytta av det här? Som

TV-mannen Vladimir Pozner — medborgare i USA, Frankrike och Ryssland — konstaterar "en person som vill skada Ryssland knappast kunde ha kommit på ett mer effektivt sätt att göra det på".

Den ryska börsen föll idag med 3 procent på den tyska regeringens uttalande. Alla förstår att det handlar om något mycket större än en enskild bloggare. Det handlar om att Merkels regering söker skaffa sig en bra anledning att på Washingtons diktat avbryta Nordstream 2-samarbetet.

 https://www.8dagar.se/2020/09/tyskland-har-olagliga-lager-av-novitjok.html#more

 

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OPCW fann inte Novitjok

 8 Dagar

9 oktober 2020

En rapport från Organisationen för förbud mot kemiska vapen (OPCW), daterad den 6 oktober, säger inte att organisationen vid undersökning av prover från Navalnyj har kunnat styrka den tyska regeringens anklagelse.

Man har hittat "biomarkörer" för kolinesterashämmare, som dock inte behöver vara ett nervgift.

Vad OPCW istället säger är att de har hittat ”biomarkörer” för en metabolisk störning som kan ha orsakats av ett oidentifierat kemiskt gift.

Navalnyj insjuknade efter att ha lämnat sitt hotell i Tomsk den 20 augusti. Sedan han flugits ut till Tyskland 22 augusti påstod den tyska regeringen att hann hade utsatts för en Novitjok-attack. Detta stöddes senare av ett uttalande från det tyska försvarets laboratorium i München.

14 september sades fyndet ha bekräftats av laboratorier i Sverige och Frankrike.

Vid en kontroll med FOI:s laboratorium i Umeå hemligstämplades undersöknings-resultatet.

Enligt OPCW reste ett team därifrån 6 september till Berlin och tog prover på Navalnys urin och blod som fördes till OPCW-laboratoriet i Haag.

Emellertid dröjde det till den 11 september innan OPCW fick i uppdrag från den tyska regeringen att undersöka proverna genom att skicka dem till två icke-namngivna laboratorier som lottas fram.

Det kan bara tolkas som att Berlin ville att de franska och svenska resultaten skulle komma före.

I OPCW-rapporten står det också att man inte undersökt flaskorna från hotell-rummet i Tomsk som Navalnyj och hans medarbetare har hävdat är mordvapnet. OPCW-analysen ignorerade också Navalnys kläder, som han och hans medarbetare har insisterat på att är ytterligare bevis på det påstådda mordförsöket.

OPCW hade nämligen fått order av den tyska regeringen att bara undersöka blod och urin. Hade inte en undersökning av de tre flaskorna och Navalnyjs kläder kunnat ge ytterligare information om var "biomarkörerna" för  "kolinesterashämmare" kan ha kommit från? Observera att den tyska kriminalpolisen aldrig var inkopplad. Inte heller förhördes Navalnyjs medarbetare trots att det vore ett grovt brott att ha fört in Novitjoksmittade föremål i landet.

Enligt OPCW:s pressmeddelande av den 6 oktober "överlämnade organisationen i Haag 5 oktober till Förbundsrepubliken Tyskland rapporten från OPCW:s uppdrag att tillhandahålla efterfrågat tekniskt bistånd med avseende på förgiftningen av Aleksej Navalnyj, den 20 augusti 2020. ”

I pressmeddelandet står det ”förgiftning”. I den officiella ”Anteckning från det tekniska sekretariatet” sägs inte detta.  Till skillnad från i fallet Skripal talar man nu inte om någon substans som är förbjuden enligt konventionen mot kemiska vapen utan mer obestämt om en giftig kemikalie "som fungerade som en kolinesterashämmare".

 "Biomarkörerna", men inte den "giftiga kemikalien" som sådan, har "identifierats...i sekretariatets hemligstämplade rapport".

OPCW ger inga bevis för att de "biomarkörer" som har identifierats bara kunde ha producerats av ett kemiskt nervvapen. De utesluter inte en annan källa. "Det här kan se ut som en revolver", kommenterar en källa, "men vad den än är, ryker den inte."

 https://www.8dagar.se/2020/10/opcw-fann-inte-novitjok.html#more

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 Novichok, Navalny, Nordstream, Nonsense

 

Craig Murray

Pressenza

3 Sept. 2020

Once Alexei Navalny was in Berlin it was only a matter of time before it was declared that he was poisoned with Novichok. The Russophobes are delighted. This of course eliminates all vestiges of doubt about what happened to the Skripals, and proves that Russia must be isolated and sanctioned to death and we must spend untold billions on weapons and security services. We must also increase domestic surveillance, crack down on dissenting online opinion. It also proves that Donald Trump is a Russian puppet and Brexit is a Russian plot.

I am going to prove beyond all doubt that I am a Russian troll by asking the question Cui Bono?, brilliantly identified by the Integrity Initiative’s Ben Nimmo as a sure sign of Russian influence.

I should state that I have no difficulty at all with the notion that a powerful oligarch or an organ of the Russian state may have tried to assassinate Navalny. He is a minor irritant, rather more famous here than in Russia, but not being a major threat does not protect you against political assassination in Russia.

What I do have difficulty with is the notion that if Putin, or other very powerful Russian actors, wanted Navalny dead, and had attacked him while he was in Siberia, he would be alive in Germany today. If Putin wanted him dead, he would be dead.

Let us first take the weapon of attack. One thing we know about a “Novichok” for sure is that it appears not to be very good at assassination. Poor Dawn Sturgess is the only person ever to have allegedly died from “Novichok”, accidentally according to the official narrative. “Novichok” did not kill the Skripals, the actual target. If Putin wanted Navalny dead, he would try something that works. Like a bullet to the head, or an actually deadly poison.

“Novichok” is not a specific chemical. It is a class of chemical weapon designed to be improvised in the field from common domestic or industrial precursors. It makes some sense to use on foreign soil as you are not carrying around the actual nerve agent, and may be able to buy the ingredients locally. But it makes no sense at all in your own country, where the FSB or GRU can swan around with any deadly weapon they wish, to be making homemade nerve agents in the sink. Why would you do that?

Further we are expected to believe that, the Russian state having poisoned Navalny, the Russian state then allowed the airplane he was traveling in, on a domestic flight, to divert to another airport, and make an emergency landing, so he could be rushed to hospital. If the Russian secret services had poisoned Navalny at the airport before takeoff as alleged, why would they not insist the plane stick to its original flight plan and let him die on the plane? They would have foreseen what would happen to the plane he was on.

Next, we are supposed to believe that the Russian state, having poisoned Navalny, was not able to contrive his death in the intensive care unit of a Russian state hospital. We are supposed to believe that the evil Russian state was able to falsify all his toxicology tests and prevent doctors telling the truth about his poisoning, but the evil Russian state lacked the power to switch off the ventilator for a few minutes or slip something into his drip. In a Russian state hospital.

Next we are supposed to believe that Putin, having poisoned Navalny with novichok, allowed him to be flown to Germany to be saved, making it certain the novichok would be discovered. And that Putin did this because he was worried Merkel was angry, not realising she might be still more angry when she discovered Putin had poisoned him with novichok

There are a whole stream of utterly unbelievable points there, every single one of which you have to believe to go along with the western narrative. Personally I do not buy a single one of them, but then I am a notorious Russophile traitor.

The United States is very keen indeed to stop Germany completing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will supply Russian gas to Germany on a massive scale, sufficient for about 40% of its electricity generation. Personally I am opposed to Nord Stream 2 myself, on both environmental and strategic grounds. I would much rather Germany put its formidable industrial might into renewables and self-sufficiency. But my reasons are very different from those of the USA, which is concerned about the market for liquefied gas to Europe for US produces and for the Gulf allies of the US. Key decisions on the completion of Nord Stream 2 are now in train in Germany.

The US and Saudi Arabia have every reason to instigate a split between Germany and Russia at this time. Navalny is certainly a victim of international politics. That he is a victim of Putin I tend to doubt.

Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British Ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and Rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010.

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/09/novichok-navalny-nordstream-nonsense/

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Magic Novichok

Craig Murray

October 23, 2020

The security services put an extraordinary amount of media priming effort into explaining why the alleged novichok attack on the Skripals had a delayed effect of several hours, and then failed to kill them. Excuses included that it was a cold day which slowed their metabolisms, that the chemical took a long time to penetrate their skins, that the gel containing the novichok inhibited its operation, that it was a deliberately non-fatal dose, that rain had diluted the novichok on the doorknob, that the Skripals were protected by gloves and possibly only came into contact in taking the gloves off, or that nerve agents are not very deadly and easily treated.

You can take your pick as to which of those convincingly explains why the Skripals apparently swanned round Salisbury for four hours after coming into contact with the novichok coated doorknob, well enough to both drink in a pub and eat a good Italian lunch, before both being instantaneously struck down and disabled at precisely the same time so neither could call for help, despite being different sexes, ages and weights. Just as the chief nurse of the British army happened to walk past.

So now let us fast forward to Alexei Navalny. Traces of “novichok” were allegedly found on a water bottle in his hotel room in Tomsk. That appears to eliminate the cold and the gloves. It also makes it possible he ingested some of the “novichok”. I can find no suggestion anywhere it was contained in a gel. So why was this deadly substance not deadly?

There seems no plain allegation of where Navalny came into contact with the “novichok”. Assuming he spent the night in his hotel room, then the very latest he can have come into contact with the deadly nerve agent would be shortly before he left the room, assuming he then subsequently touched the bottle before leaving. This is true whether the bottle was the source or he just touched it with novichok on his hands. After poisoning with this very deadly nerve agent -– which Germany claims is “harder” than other examples, he then checked out of the hotel, went to the airport, checked in for his flight, had a cup of tea and boarded the flight, all before being taken ill. This after contact with a chemical weapon allegedly deadlier than this:

”CCTV shows moment Kim Jong Nam assassinated”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ak-ile2HUFY

Which of course is aside from all the questions as to why the Russians would use again the poison that was ineffective against the Skripals, and why exactly the FSB would not have swept and cleaned up the hotel room after he had left. All that is even before we get to some of the questions I had already asked [see foregoing article].

The eagerness of the Western political establishment to accept and amplify nonsensical Russophobia is very worrying. Fear is a powerful political tool, politicians need an enemy, and still more does the military-industrial complex that so successfully siphons off state money. Many fat livings depend on the notion that Russia poses a serious threat to us. The nonsense people are prepared to believe to maintain that fiction give a most unpleasant glimpse into the human psyche.

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/10/magic-novichok/

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Navalny Should Be Released

 

Craig Murray

January 22, 2021

Alexei Navalny is not the pleasant liberal our mainstream media paint him to be. Before extensive grooming by the West, he was a racist populist. However, he now makes a more convincing liberal standard bearer than similar proteges like Juan Guaido and to some extent has probably changed with wider experience. He most certainly is not especially popular in Russia, outside some wealthier and younger demographics, but they are voters too, and human progress would not have been great without the much despised middle classes.

I am not in the least convinced by the ludicrous narrative that Vladimir Putin and the FSB were not competent enough to successfully assassinate Alexei Navalny in Russia, including as he lay unconscious in a Russian state hospital. I regard it as a nonsense. But neither do I necessarily suspect that the whole incident was engineered by the West or Navalny (exploited is different to engineered).

Incidentally, I am perfectly prepared to accept that the security service outlet Bellingcat was right about the Russian security services following Navalny. I have no doubt whatsoever that they do follow him, and have done so for many years. So what? Western security services followed me intensely when I first became a whistleblower, and on and off ever since, most notably when I have contact with Julian or Wikileaks. The British government announced in Julian’s recent bail hearing it spent £16 million of public money on surveillance of the Ecuadorean Embassy – that’s £16 million on looking at a non-moving target!

 Security services follow people. There are thousands of the blighters, both in the West and in Russia, and follow people is what many of them do for a living. It is in no sense evidence of assassination. Every time my heart problem puts me in hospital, I don’t imagine it was the MI5 surveillance folks (who must, incidentally, be very bored. When I was younger they did get to look at some great parties).

Anybody who genuinely believes that Putin did not personally authorise the arrest and detention of Navalny on return does not understand Russia. Putin’s purpose is simply to show that he can -– that the West cannot protect its protege, which is a good lesson for the next one, and cannot harm Russian interests abroad. In power calcula-tions, Putin is almost always correct. I am fairly sure he is also correct in calculating that swatting Navalny will play well to his popular base, who like the macho thing.

I do not address the technicalities of whether Navalny’s suspended embezzlement sentence was legitimate, and whether he breached suspension conditions, because again if you think that has anything at all to do with what is happening, you are hopelessly naive. Navalny might very well be guilty of embezzlement, but on nothing in the same universe of scale as Putin himself and his inner circle. It is about selectivity of prosecution rather than innocence or guilt. If you have political control of the prosecutor, you hold the cards. Oh sorry, I was drifting back to Scotland.

So Putin can see Navalny jailed till 2025 on the embezzlement charge with no serious consequences and a minor stabilisation of his personal authority. But at what cost? My major criticism of Putin is that he has failed to move Russia, an absolutely vital pillar of European cultural heritage, back towards the European centre after decades of isolation. That involves development away from purely autocratic government; but there remains absolutely no sign that Putin even intends to position Russia for that move once he finally relinquishes power -– which he ought to have done many years ago. Allowing Navalny to continue his campaigning will not hurt Putin and will not hurt Russia. It is a fascinating and universal fact that the longer people hold power, the more paranoid they become.

https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/20876993-navalny-should-be-released

 

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Why It Is Likelier that the U.S. Government Had

Alexei Navalny Poisoned. “Immense Propaganda Asset to US”

 

Eric Zuesse

Global Research

September 21, 2020

 

The poisoning of Alexei Navalny has created intensified support by pro-U.S., and especially pro-NATO, officials in the European Union, to block the nearly completed NordStream 2 natural-gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, and to import into the EU, instead, far costlier U.S. LNG, liquefied natural gas. A very real possibility thus now exists that the poisoning of Navalny will turn out to have been worth many billions of dollars to U.S. frackers, by causing the nearly-completed NordStream 2 to be turned to waste so that fracked U.S. LNG will sell in Europe. The present article will explore the relative likelihood that the poisoning of Navalny isn’t merely coincidentally perfectly timed in order to achieve that objective for the benefit of America’s gas-industry, but that it probably was actually planned and perpetrated in order to achieve this.

The idea that the Russian Government poisoned Alexei Navalny presumes such astounding stupidity on the part of Russia’s Government as to be exceedingly dubious, at best. Navalny, though he actually is favorably viewed by only around

2% of Russians (as indicated in polls there), is widely publicized in U.S.-and-allied media as having instead the highest support by the Russian people of anyone who might challenge Vladimir Putin for Russia’s leadership.

It’s a lie, and always has been. Other politicians have far higher polled support in Russia. For example, whereas in the latest poll, published on September 5th, Navalny was one of four individuals who had 2%, Zhirinovsky had 5% and Zhirinovsky was the only person who had more than 2%, other than Putin, who had 56%. In the 2018 Presidential election, Zhirinovsky polled at 13.7%, Grudinin polled at 12.0%, and Putin polled at 72.6%. The actual election-outcome was Putin 76.69%, Grudinin 11.7%, and Zhirinovsky 5.65%.

The idea that Putin would need to kill anyone in order to be leading Russia is so stupid and uninformed (and mis-informed) that it is beyond belief, though it is widely publicized in The West as being instead the reality. But what is true is that Navalny has been an immense propaganda-asset to the U.S. Government, and he now is especially so.

Even America’s CNN let slip, in a news report on September 18th, regarding Navalny, that “his list of enemies is as long as it is powerful,” but they said nothing about whom those “enemies” might be. No one questions that Navalny claims to be an anti-corruption campaigner, and that this would generate enemies regardless of whether his accusations are truthful. The article on “Alexei Navalny” at Wikipedia, which is CIA-edited and written, and which blacklists (blocks from linking to) sites that aren’t CIA-approved, indicates that Navalny has accused numerous individuals of corruption, but not that any of those individuals is corrupt — and this is at a site (Wikipedia) which can reasonably be expected to link to documentation of any damning evidence that Navalny has come up with. But the article doesn’t link to any. The article does make clear that Navalny has been hoping to use these accusations in order to rise in Russian politics. It would be a dangerous way to rise in any nation’s politics, regardless of whether those accusations are true. The idea that Putin was behind this is insane. Is Putin so stupid as to poison the U.S. regime’s most-heavily propaganda-favored Russian precisely at the time when the EU is about to grant final approval to Russia’s vast (and virtually completed) NordStream 2 pipeline?

The Real Target Is Russian-German Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

England’s Financial Times headlined on September 16, “Germany offered €1bn for gas terminals in exchange for US lifting NS2 sanctions,” and sub-headed “Deal, detailed in a letter by Olaf Scholz to Steven Mnuchin, predates the poisoning of Alexei Navalny.” They reported that “In the August 7 letter seen by the Financial Times,

Mr Scholz said Germany would increase its financial support for LNG infrastructure and import capacities ‘by up to €1bn’ in exchange for the US ‘allow[ing] for the unhindered construction and operation of Nord Stream 2’,” and reported that:

The US has long opposed Nord Stream 2 and in December imposed sanctions against companies involved in its construction. That move prompted Swiss pipe-layer Allseas to suspend its work with just 6 per cent left to install. A group of US senators from across the political divide are pushing to extend those sanctions.

Criticism of the project has grown in Europe too, with opponents saying it will increase Europe’s dependence on Russian energy exports at a time of rising tensions with Moscow. In her State of the Union address on Wednesday, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said: “To those that advocate closer ties with Russia, I say that the poisoning of Alexei Navalny with an advanced chemical agent is not a one-off. This pattern is not changing — and no pipeline will change that.

The U.S. regime’s agent, von der Leyen, is doing her utmost to serve U.S. LNG marketers. Many other U.S.-regime agents also are.

On September 17th, America’s neoconservative (or pro-U.S.-empire) Newsweek bannered “Opinion: Open Letter: For the Sake of Transatlantic Security, Stop Nord Stream 2,” with 114 signatories of NATO-related U.S. and European officials, and published their argument that, “Over the past decade, the Government of the Russian Federation has engaged in a litany of malign activities aimed at upending liberal democratic norms across Europe and North America. The shocking poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny by a variant of the weapons-grade nerve agent Novichok shows that Moscow has not been deterred by Western actions and statements and refuses to reverse its destabilizing political adventurism at home and abroad.”

How blatant and scummy can a marketing campaign get?

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010 and of Christ’s Ventriloquists: The Event that Created Christianity.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/why-likelier-us-government-alexei-navalny-poisoned/5724465

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The Case of Alexei Navalny: Reviving the Cold War

The mainstream media considers Alexei Navalny to be Vladimir Putin’s main opponent. However, a Levada Center poll from November 2020 — three months after Navalny’s poisoning — found that only 2% of Russians would vote for Navalny if he were a presidential candidate. That is a number that has remained steady for years. How is it possible that there can be such a divergence of views?

 

Prof. John Ryan
Global Research
March 21, 2021

 

In the western media, Navalny has been portrayed as an indefatigable Russian patriot who is trying to expose corruption in Russian society and has been victimised by various criminal prosecutions.

       To set the record straight, in 2014 Navalny was charged and convicted of fraud and embezzlement of a French cosmetic firm and a Russian state-owned timber firm, totalling about $1,000,000. For the first criminal offence he was given a 3½-year sentence and for the second, a 5-year sentence, but both sentences were suspended. On the other hand, his brother who was similarly charged did go to jail. During this probation period Alexei Navalny was to report at regular intervals to police officials.

       Much has been written in the Western press about an “assassination attempt” on Navalny using a weapons grade nerve agent known as Novichok and Navalny’s accusation that “Putin was trying to poison me” has been taken at face value. However, little has been said about the many questions that have arisen around these important matters and they are worth airing

       On August 20th, Navalny fell seriously ill while in mid-flight from Tomsk, Siberia to the Russian capital. The Moscow-bound plane was abruptly re-routed to make an emergency landing in the Siberian city of Omsk where the Navalny was hospitalized.

       Somehow while Navalny was still on the plane bound for Omsk, Pyotr Verzilov, a member of the protest punk rock Pussy Riot group, was notified of Navalny’s illness. He then immediately managed to arrange for the Berlin-based NGO Cinema for Peace Foundation to send an aircraft to Omsk with a coma-specialised team on board. This plane arrived the next day, on August 21, and these German doctors were allowed to take part in the examination and treatment of Navalny. In fact, they were able to make tests and report these back to Berlin.

       The Russian doctors have affirmed that despite comprehensive toxicology tests on his biological fluids and organs, they detected no traces of toxins. He was tested for many types of poisons, including organophosphorus compounds and narcotic substances. Moreover, the atropine treatment by Russian doctors was exactly the same as would later be done at the Berlin Charité medical university. And most importantly, no evidence was detected by the German doctors of a poison attack on Navalny in the Omsk hospital, as Navalny and the western media have recently alleged.

       The chief toxicologist at the Omsk Emergency Hospital, Dr. Alexander Sabaev, stated that their doctors found no traces of toxic substances in the comatose Navalny’s kidneys, liver, or lungs, which led them to conclude that Navalny’s condition was caused by a metabolic disorder and an “internal trigger mechanism. It appeared that Navalny had suffered a grand seizure due to hyperglycemia after going into diabetic shock in which a combination of alcohol, lithium and benzos taken by Navalny himself were involved. Sabaev also noted that tests were conducted in multiple laboratories at once.

       By their skilled quick intervention, these doctors saved Navalny’s life. The Omsk doctors not only stabilized Navalny’s condition but also had demonstrated the effectiveness of the Russian antidote medication. The crucial point is that these Russian toxicology tests found no Novichok or any other such nerve poison in Navalny’s body. The Russian medics still possess the original body samples taken when Navalny was being treated in Russia.

       On August 22 Navalny was flown in this German plane to Germany, along with his medical condition reports, which were to be given to the Charité Clinic in Berlin. His transport on a medically equipped plane with German specialists was permitted by the Russian authorities. In fact, it was Vladimir Putin who personally authorized this, afterwards saying, “I immediately asked the Prosecutor General’s office to allow that.”

       Two days later, on August 24, a report on Navalny from the Charité hospital stated “Clinical findings indicate poisoning with a substance from the group of cholinesterase inhibitors. The specific substance involved remains unknown, and a further series of comprehensive testing has been initiated.”

       This claim was signed by a press agent, not a doctor or head of the patient treatment team. However, German hospital protocol requires the treating doctor to take responsibility for the release of a patient’s medical record. There is no evidence that such permission was granted.  In fact, Florian Roetzer of Telepolis, asked Manuela Zingl, the press agent who signed her name to this, to name the head of the Navalny’s treatment team and to provide details of the treatment. She refused. We will return to the question of why protocol was breached so seriously on such an important matter at a later point when we come to additional information that came out in December.

       Notably, the Berlin doctors admit they did not detect organophosphate poisoning in Navalny’s blood, urine or on his skin; they tested no water bottle or clothing evidence which had been brought to Berlin by Navalny’s staff on the evacuation aircraft. They also acknowledge they did not know what might have caused “severe poisoning with a cholinesterase inhibitor” until the German armed forces laboratory in Munich reported the Novichok allegation two weeks later.

       For an undisclosed reason, further research on Navalny was not done at the Charité hospital in Berlin.  This was assigned to be done at the German army’s chemical warfare laboratory in Munich, the Institut fur Pharmakologie und Toxikologie der Bundeswehr (IPTB). On September 2 the IPTB issued a brief report, with no details, directly to Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin stating that on the basis of their toxicological investigation “definite proof of a chemical nerve agent of the Novitchok (sic) group was produced.”

       However, there is a problem with IPTB’s entire report. There was no toxicology report from the IPTB, no name of the IPTB expert in charge of the testing and of the interpretation of the results, and there was no name of the chemical compound of the “Novichok group,” which IPTB should have explicitly reported on paper, according to the naming protocol of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry; or else the report fails to do that because it was inconclusive. The failure to compile a full report on these matters seems to indicate their analysis was inconclusive.

       Immediately after receiving the report on Navalny from the IPTB, Chancellor Merkel met with her cabinet and issued a report saying, “The German federal government condemns this attack in the strongest possible terms. The Russian government is urged to explain itself regarding the incident.” A communiqué was sent to Russia saying that Germany now has “unequivocal proof” Navalny was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent and demanded that Russia conduct an investigation into this.  The next day Russia rejected Merkel’s accusations and demanded documents and proof to support their case.

       Germany’s announcement immediately led to a series of charges in the media that the Kremlin was responsible for the attempted murder of Navalny using the Soviet-era nerve poison. Without providing any supporting evidence to Moscow or the public, the German government demanded an explanation from the Kremlin. Amazingly, Germany refused to share their analytical data and samples with Russia, but in spite of this they demanded that Moscow launch a criminal investigation into the Navalny case.

       Upon hearing these accusations, the scientists behind Novichok development —Leonid Rink and Vladimir Uglev — dismissed the German claims. They stated that Novichok is an extremely deadly nerve agent and there’s no way Navalny could have survived its application. Furthermore, Uglev pointed out that others who interacted with the Navalny after he fell ill — fellow plane passengers, ambulance crews, and others would also have been contaminated. Leonid Rink stated that Navalny’s symptoms are not consistent with poisoning by Novichok. According to him, if Novichok was used, Navalny would have had seizures, and he would have already died, instead of falling into a coma.

       Russia then sent a formal request from the Prosecutor-General in Moscow to Germany to provide medical condition evidence on their Navalny findings. In response, the German authorities have not produced a single medical datum, pathology, toxicology or forensic report. In European protocols of patient care and in medical professional terms, this is unprecedented. As such it appears that German doctors were under government orders not to communicate with their Russian colleagues or to respond to an official Russian government request.

       German doctors who treated Navalny wrote a report that became the basis for an article in The Lancet. This was published December 22 as a four-page clinical report on Navalny. In this report, the main editors Eckardt and Steindl say “severe poisoning with a cholinesterase inhibitor was subsequently diagnosed,” not at the Charité hospital in Berlin, but by a “laboratory of the German armed forces”, i.e., the IPTB.

       British toxicologists have repeatedly cautioned there can be many causes and sources for the cholinesterase inhibition detected from metabolites in Navalny’s blood and urine, and they continue to ask the German doctors and the IPTB: “Name the compound. That would be a good start.” Writing in The Lancet, the doctor in charge of Navalny’s treatment at the Charité, Kai-Uwe Eckardt and a British colleague, David Steindl note that: “results of toxicology analyses conducted in a special laboratory of the armed forces [IPTB] are not included.”

       A British organo-phosphate expert adds: “I can’t stress enough the need for the German scientists to be specific. To speak of ‘Novichok family’ or ‘Novichok class or group” is just not good enough. There is no reason why the correct IUPAC chemical name should not be stipulated.  Without this certainty, there is no analysis that can stand up as toxicologically defensible evidence of a crime.”

       As cited in the December issue of The Lancet, German doctors reported that “based on clinical and laboratory findings, severe cholinesterase inhibition was diagnosed and the patient was started on atropine and obidoxime . . . cholinergic signs returned to normal within 1 hour after the onset of this antidotal therapy.” This report is in stark contrast to the Charité press agent’s report on August 24 which spoke of “poisoning with a substance from the group of cholinesterase inhibitors.”  It also neglected to mention that the atropine treatment was effective within one hour and that the atropine treatment by Russian doctors at Omsk was the same as provided to Navalny by German doctors.

       Thus, the August 24 announcement by Charité hospital’s press agent was not only inaccurate, it was overly alarmist. As we have seen, it was also released by a press agent, without the signature or the authorization of a doctor. Now we know why:

it appears to be a purposeful misrepresentation of Navalny’s medical condition.

But questions still remain . . . why was this done, who authorized it, and for what purpose?

 

Navalny, Nord Stream 2, Belarus, and the American Elections

At Germany’s request, on 10 September OPCW sent experts to collect biomedical samples from Navalny’s blood and urine. This was three weeks after Navalny became ill and by this time he was reasonably well recovered. Almost a month later, on 5 October, the OPCW sent a report on its findings to Germany claiming that “The results of the analysis of biomedical samples conducted by the OPCW designated laboratories demonstrate that Mr Navalny was exposed to a toxic chemical acting as a cholinesterase inhibitor. The biomarkers of the cholinesterase inhibitor found in Mr Navalny’s blood and urine samples have similar structural characteristics to the toxic chemicals belonging to schedules 1.A.14 and 1.A.15, which were added to the Annex on Chemicals to the Convention at the Twenty-Fourth Session of the Conference of the States Parties in November 2019. This cholinesterase inhibitor is not listed in the Annex on Chemicals to the Convention.”

There was no further report to clarify what this actually meant. Despite this, it became accepted that OPCW claimed it was a variant of Novichok. Overall, OPCW’s remarkably late intervention in this matter is questionable and their report remains cryptic. The fact that immediately after Navalny became ill Russian and German doctors at Omsk were not able to find any traces of toxins in his blood and urine, three weeks later OPCW’s “experts” supposedly managed to do so stretches credulity.

The latest on this is that it is now reported, as of February 15, that on the day OPCW took samples of Navalny’s blood and urine, the German record shows his cholinesterase scores were so close to normal, it was impossible for the OPCW to claim they had evidence of a Novichok attack. This substantially undermines Germany’s claim that the Novichok attack was perpetrated by the Russians, on order of President Vladimir Putin.

It’s not that OPCW has an unblemished impartial record. Its reputation was seriously compromised in 2019 when the head office leadership altered the report of its own on-site investigators in Douma in Syria in an attempt to justify an unwarranted and illegal bombing raid in Syria by US and British aircraft.  Because of this, the two top investigators quit their jobs, and one of them later presented a detailed report at the United Nations in which the true course of events was presented on what actually happened at Douma in 2018.

On December 22 the Charité clinic released some of its laboratory test results on Navalny. These reveal a surprising number of medical symptoms: acute pancreatitis, diabetes, liver failure, severe dehydration, muscular rigidity, as well as serious bacterial infection, and a possible heart attack associated with his kidney problems. According to the clinic’s experts, these are not recognizable symptoms of a nerve agent attack. Given this great variety of ailments, it is clear that Navalny is not in good health.

The Charité hospital’s doctors also revealed that Navalny had a medico-psychiatric problem and was a heavy user of lithium and benzodiazepine drugs. They reported this in a set of four data tables they attached as appendices to their case report on Navalny. Their data raises the question — what would happen if Navalny was forced to withdraw from his drugs quickly.  Further on this later.

Navalny’s wife, Yulia, had refused to reveal or allow Navalny’s doctors to report on several of his prior illnesses and medical preconditions; these are known to cause sudden reduction in blood sugar and cholinesterase levels — diabetes, Quincke’s Disease, and allergies leading to anaphylactic shock. It is not known if Navalny afterwards allowed this.

The disclosure that in his Tomsk hotel on August 19, hours before he collapsed, Navalny had taken a large dose of lithium, diazepam, nordazepam, oxazepam, and temazepam, was first published on December 22 in The Lancet. The medico-psychiatric literature is clear on what happens to a habitual user of these drugs if rapid withdrawal is attempted: for lithium, read this; for the benzodiazepines, click to open.

European medical sources report that the lithium found in Navalny’s blood is commonly used to treat bipolar disorders. It is known to depress the butyryl cholinesterase which Navalny’s laboratory testing revealed at the Charité hospital. Navalny was also being treated to stabilise his insulin level with Metformin, a drug that is known to be a cholinesterase inhibitor.  From the combination of these drugs and the additional ones he took in the Tomsk hotel, Navalny would have suffered dramatic cholinesterase inhibition effects before his collapse on the plane from Tomsk to Moscow.

As such there is medical evidence provided by Russian and German doctors that Navalny may have collapsed because of the combination of drugs he was takingThe use of benzodiazepines is especially dangerous when used with alcohol or other drugs.

Independent western toxicologists, pharmacologists, and physicians believe that the Lancet evidence of Navalny’s drug intake shows that he had consumed a potentially lethal cocktail of drugs, which, if combined with alcohol and a pre-existing diabetic condition, could have triggered the cholinesterase inhibitor.  An expert from the above-cited group adds that the 0.2 blood alcohol level reported from the Omsk hospital testing on August 20 “is an extremely high level.”

The mystery of what the Berlin doctors treating Navalny discovered in his bloodstream and urine tests has deepened after the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov publicly referred in mid-February to the clinical findings of a Swiss-based neurologist, Vitaly Kozak. He revealed that Kozak has been reporting for several weeks that the biomedical data tables published in The Lancet in December reveal evidence of cholinesterase inhibition effects of poisoning by the drug lithium which Navalny was taking himself before his collapse on August 20.  Why is it that The Lancet has refused to publish a clinical commentary in the form of questions from Dr. Kozak?

Kozak has pointed out there is evidence that lithium inhibits cholinesterase activity in the blood. Also not explained was that 31 hours after Navalny collapsed from his illness “he had ‘wide pupils non-reactive to light’ which is contrary to cholinergic toxidrome.” He explained the significance of this, which was not reported by The Lancet.  DrKozak’s expert credentials as a neurologist are such that he is more qualified to comment on Navalny’s clinical data than the neurologists in the Charité hospital team who listed themselves as co-authors of December 22 Lancet report. Despite this, Kozak’s observations and inferences from the data tables have been rejected for publication in The Lancet.

It is noteworthy that career diplomat Frank Elbe, who headed the office of German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher for five years and negotiated the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons as head of the German delegation in Geneva from 1983 to 1986, stated that “I am surprised that the Federal Ministry of Defence concludes that the nerve agent Novichok was used against Navalny.”

As he put it, Novichok belongs to a group of “super-lethal substances that cause immediate death” and that it “made no sense to modify a nerve poison that was supposed to kill instantly in such a way that it did not kill, but left traces behind allowing its identification.”

To sum up this issue, the case from Germany and the west is that Navalny was the target of an attempted murder, and that Novichok was the weapon used. The Russian government case is that the medical evidence is of a metabolic crisis caused by the combination of alcohol, lithium and benzodiazepines taken by Navalny himself.

The balance of evidence available and outlined here would suggest that the Russian assessment is more credible than the Western consensus.

Aside from all of the above, there is a further more sinister possibility that should be considered. It was the doctors at the Omsk hospital who first treated Navalny and saved his life from his strange ailment. Several German doctors were there at the time and fully approved of the tests and medical care that he received. The Russian doctors still have Navalny’s biological samples, which show no presence of toxins. Hence, because of such evidence, surely there is reasonable cause to suspect that the German version may be a fabrication. That could mean that the claimed detection of Novichok by the Germans was the result of deliberate contamination of his body fluids while he was being treated in the Berlin hospital, or that his was done later at the Munich military laboratory.

Russia has been transparent in all this from the outset. But strangely, the Germans rebuffed all Russian requests for reciprocal transparency from their side to back up their extraordinary claims that Navalny was poisoned with a military nerve agent.  All efforts by Moscow for cooperation in investigating what happened when Navalny fell ill on August 20 have been stonewalled. However, the German lab did share some of their information with personnel from other countries.

There are additional questions. After Russian doctors saved his life and were prepared to deal with his recovery, why was there an urgent request from his family and his supporters to have him flown to Germany for further hospital care? Why was there an urgency to do so? Why did Moscow relent in allowing this strange foreign intervention in its internal affairs?

If, for argument’s sake, the Kremlin had in some way plotted to cause Navalny harm with Novichok or some other poison, why would Moscow permit his relocation to Berlin where toxicology tests would uncover the purported plot? That scenario is illogical.

A further point on this matter is that Novichok substances exist in at least twenty Western countries while Russia claims to have none. Furthermore, the Russian scientists who invented Novichok have stated categorically that if used, it would have killed Navalny almost instantly.

Moreover, anyone who came in contact with him — his aides, doctors, fellow passengers — would inevitably have been contaminated, sickened and perhaps died, so deadly is this chemical weapon.

Recently a Russian doctor died at the Omsk hospital where Navalny was a treated six months ago. Immediately there was speculation that it was that this was somehow connected to Navalny. Upon inquiry it was reported that the doctor died of a heart attack and that this had nothing to do with Navalny.

When in Germany for treatment, a mysterious water bottle was produced by his family that the Bundeswehr labs are now claiming had traces of Novichok on its surface. If Novichok truly were on the bottle, Navalny and his assistants would have died, as well as the Bundeswehr technicians.

In addition to the water bottle, other purported methods were considered such as a bad-tasting cocktail Navalny had in the hotel or perhaps it was the cup of tea while he was waiting for his plane in Tomsk. But the latest and the final idea is that Novichok was applied to Navalny’s underwear while he was staying at a hotel in the hours before his flight to Tomsk.  Laughable, yes, but this is their latest idea.

This latest explanation is based on a claim that Navalny somehow through a phone call tricked a person from the Russian Federal Security Service to admit that they had applied Novichok to his underwear. Russia immediately denied such an accusation and showed that his claim was preposterous and a fake.

In all of this there was an astounding dereliction of legal process by the Europeans, as well as the flouting of diplomatic norms in their communications with Moscow . . . all unworthy of normal bilateral relations.

Despite all this, critics wonder why “the Russian regime has not yet even opened a criminal inquiry.” Why should Russia do this? The Russian doctors who saved Navalny’s life did not find any toxic substance in his body. The German investigators have not provided any evidence of their findings of Novichok in Navalny’s body. Without such evidence what would be the point of any such inquiry?

The timing of Navalny’s alleged assassination came as the Nord Stream-2 natural gas project between the European Union and Russia entered into a final phase for completion. Predictably, there have been vociferous calls from the EU and from some sectors in Germany for that project to be cancelled, in accordance with Washington’s long-held demands. The USA is involved in this because it wants to sell its own abundant gas (from fracking) to Europe, even though it would be far more expensive than Russian gas. Obviously, this is about trade and American financial interests. In response to this, Russia is considering an international court challenge against US actions.

This $11 billion pipeline is the likely reason why the Navalny issue has been handled in this manner in Germany. Strangely there are a number of pro-Washington German politicians who have been persistent in their opposition to the ambitious boost to energy trade between Russia and Europe.

On the other hand, most German politicians realize that Germany needs Russian natural gas as it phases out dirty coal and nuclear power.  Natural gas is a cleaner source of energy than coal or nuclear power. The completion of this line would double the supply of Russian gas to the EU.

Despite sanctions to disrupt construction over the past year, the Nord Stream-2 project resumed near the end of 2020. All that is needed is about 150 kilometers of pipe-laying to the German coastline in an overall 12,000-km route from Russia.

From a strategic political and commercial viewpoint, the Americans are crazed by this partnership between Europe and Russia. Navalny’s bizarre poison story and subsequent media agitation seems central to halting the Nord Stream-2 project.

So desperate is Washington to sabotage the pipeline that it is now throwing caution to the winds in its efforts at trying to incite a colour revolution in Russia. The hypocrisy is astounding considering the shrill and unfounded accusations the Americans have leveled at Russia about its supposed interference in US affairs.

But also astounding is the servility of European governments and media who entertain the American agenda. Germany wants and needs Russian gas, but Berlin has accepted the Navalny nonsense and has endangered its relationship with Russia.

In any case, under the laws of the Russian Federation, during Navalny’s five-month stay in Germany, he was on probation for a suspended jail sentence concerning his fraud conviction in 2014.  For the last two months of 2020, according to his German doctors, he was fully recovered and in good health. Hence there were no grounds for him not to return to Russia and thereby to abide by Russian laws.

Near the end of December Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service warned Alexei Navalny to return immediately from Germany or else face a suspended sentence being made into jail time. He ignored this and returned on January 17. He was detained at the airport and placed in detention till February 2.

At the ensuing court case on February 2, seemingly because he had been unable to take his usual drugs, Navalny became unhinged during the proceedings. During the court hearing, he was asked to apologize to a 95-year-old World War II veteran for insulting and defaming him some months before because the veteran had supported an amendment to Russia’s constitution.  Instead of doing this, Navalny proceeded to further ridicule and malign not only the veteran but his family as well, to the extent that it even appalled his supporters in court. As later reported “Navalny’s constant shift into shouting, rolling into hysterics, bickering with the court, and insulting other participants . . .  the judge, unable to stand the circus, gave five minutes to the lawyers to ‘bring the defendant to his senses’, since ‘there is no longer any possibility to tolerate this.’”

It’s fairly certain that if Navalny had done this in the USA he’d have been charged with contempt of court and given an additional sentence. At the end of the hearing, he was jailed for parole violations resulting from an earlier embezzlement conviction and sent to serve the remaining 2½ years in a penal colony.

Probably because of Navalny’s bizarre performance in court, his staff announced they have suspended their demonstration plans until the spring.

Russia has dismissed US and EU criticism of the jailing of Navalny as meddling in its domestic affairs and said Navalny’s current situation is a procedural matter for the court, not an issue for the government.

It should be noted that while he was in Germany “recuperating,” Navalny proceeded to accuse President Putin of personally ordering his alleged assassination. On the basis of these bizarre and totally unsubstantiated charges the European governments proceeded to impose further sanctions on Russia.  The abdication by European governments of due process and of respect for Russian state laws, its government, and its president is astounding.

In a question directed at Putin regarding Navalny’s comments about him, Putin responded by saying that Navalny’s claims are merely “laundering of US intelligence” for which the dissident figure is an asset.

The notion that Russian President Vladimir Putin would try to assassinate an opposition person who holds a minuscule 2 to 4% support amongst the population is contrary to any reason or common sense. There is a reason Putin consistently polls about 60 to 70% in favorability with the Russian people.  Such polling is done regularly by the Levada Center, an independent non-governmental polling association.

Russians are fully aware that it was Putin who directed the country away from Western domination under the ruinous neoliberal economic policies of his corrupt and inebriated predecessor Boris Yeltsin.  Under Yeltsin in a matter of five years from 1990 to 1994 life expectancy dropped from age 69 to age 64, and economic output fell by 45 percent during 1989 – 1998.  Under Putin the economy recovered and life expectancy in 2020 was 72.3.

After his arrest, Navalny’s supporters released a two-hour YouTube video about an opulent Black Sea residence allegedly built for Putin. It immediately got wide media attention, especially in the West, and it has been widely viewed in Russia. President Putin immediately denied having anything to do with this structure.  Shortly afterwards, a Russian businessman, Arkady Rotenberg, provided proof that he owns this property and that this has nothing to do with the Russian president.

Navalny’s so-called Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) has a checkered history of shady financing, from allegations of foreign funding by the U.S. State Department to charges of embezzling millions of dollars. The FBK is registered as a ‘foreign agent’ by the Russian Ministry of Justice because they have evidence that it has received funding from abroad in the past.

Navalny is being used by the USA as a useful agent in its attempts to subvert the Russian state by fomenting social unrest.  For example, upon Navalny’s return to Russia on January 17, the US embassy in Moscow published detailed street maps of planned protests. Just imagine the hue and cry if, for example, the Russian embassy in Washington had published maps of the Capitol buildings prior to the January 6 violent assault there by Trump supporters.

Navalny’s FBK on January 31 asked the White House to enact additional sanctions on Russia. Russia’s Foreign Affairs official, Vladimir Dzhabarov, denounced the organization, saying: “It smacks of treason. Can you imagine an American organiza-tion appealing to Vladimir Putin with a request to impose sanctions on the US president?”

Amnesty International has recently withdrawn its designation of Navalny as a “prisoner of conscience” due to past xenophobic statements he has never retracted. The group said it “is no longer able to consider” Navalny a prisoner of conscience because he “advocated violence and discrimination” and has never retracted any of such statements he made in the past. They noted that he has compared Muslims to cockroaches and flies and recommends shooting them with guns if swatters and shoes fail.

At a party in 2013, celebrating the anniversary of the newspaper The New TimesNavalny suggested that they “make the first toast for the Holocaust”; he referred to religious Jews in his blog as: “dandies in fox hats and rags.” Also, Navalny in 2013 supported the Biryulyovo race riots in which Russian skinheads attacked immigrants in a Moscow district. In 2017, in an interview with the Guardian, he said he has “no regrets” about his past statements and called it “artistic licence.”

Navalny’s world view was formed under the total dominance of the right-wing market liberal ideology in the 2000s, when he supported radical privatization and decreases in social guarantees as a member of the Yabloko Party.

Even though Navalny is now in prison he may still face an investigation for a newer fraud case, in which he and his Anti-Corruption Foundation have been accused of misusing donations from supporters. There is a possibility he may also be charged with treason. A recently released video reveals new evidence of links between MI6 and Navalny. The video exposes the role of the US and UK in helping Navalny to foment political discord in Russia and other countries. With respect to Navalny and his supporters, Russia’s media spokesperson, Maria Zakarova was even more direct, saying “stop calling them opposition, they are NATO agents.”

The case of Andrei Navalny is Russia’s problem, but because the Cold War has now been revived, in the West he is being used an instrument to try to undermine that country.

John Ryan, Ph.D., is a retired Professor of Geography and Senior Scholar at the University of Winnipeg, Canada

https://www.globalresearch.ca/case-alexei-navalny/5740421

 



 

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