ER Editor: We’re doing a twofer, with highly informed, highly connected bloggers, Moon of Alabama (MoA), an erstwhile German intelligence operative, and former UK ambassador Craig Murray.
Russian opposition figure and Putin critic, Alexei Navalny, was allegedly poisoned after falling ill on a domestic Russian flight from Siberia to Moscow in August; in a coma – possibly due to hypoglycemia, he was later transported to Germany, willingly by Russia, to get medical treatment on August 20. Russia acceded to this demand from Germany for some curious reason. Now it appears to be just another Skripal-type piece of nonsense, another attempt to finger Russia, another accusation of Russian poisoning by Novichok.
MoA attributes this to the failure so far to overturn Lukashenko in Belarus through color revolution tactics. Murray connects it to the Nordstream 2 project, which is nearing completion.
Nothing was ever proven in the case of the Skripals, who have since disappeared under the supervision of British intelligence, apparently to New Zealand.
The Nordstream 2 pipeline, as stated, is to be finished within 2020, providing as it does an ample supply of Russia natural gas to Germany and ultimately Europe. Merkel has been steadfast on making this happen, especially as environmentally-friendly options for energy supply have failed miserably within Germany. There are simply no signs that Nordstream 2 will not go ahead.
Navalny Gets Skripaled
MOON OF ALABAMA
Yawn! was my first reaction when I read this. Couldn’t they come up with a more believable fairy tale?
The German government says tests performed on samples taken from Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny showed the presence of the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said in a statement Wednesday that testing by a special German military laboratory had shown proof of “a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group.” Novichok, a Soviet-era nerve agent, was used to poison former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Britain. It is a cholinesterase inhibitor, part of the class of substances that doctors at the Charite initially identified in Navalny.
Funny how Novichok, the “military grade”, “most deadly” poison, never kills anyone.
Where are, by the way, the Skripals? Will Navalny now get vanished just like they were?
Other questions one might ask (and will never get answered):
- If the Russian state or “Putin” has poisoned Navalny, why was he allowed to be flown out of the country?
- No traces of any unusual substances have been found by the two Russian laboratories which analyzed the blood of the sick Alexei Navalny. Why?
- While Navalny was allegedly exposed to such stuff, why was no one else around him hurt by it?
- Why was the German government so eager to get Navalny to Berlin?
- Who has the lead in this anti-Russian information operation? The MI6, the CIA or the Germany BND?
My sense is that the Navalny incident, or at least what is made of it, is a reaction to the failure of the U.S. run color revolution attempt in Belarus. “Russia” must be punished for this.
The hospital in Omsk still has the original blood samples of Navalny.
Is there a neutral international laboratory that could retest those?
Novichok, Navalny, Nordstream, Nonsense
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 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 not 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, 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 producers 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.
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