Article Image

IPFS News Link • Russia

Alexei Navalny, 1976-2024

•, by John Laughland

When Alexei Navalny's death was announced on 16 February, Western media immediately said it was a political assassination (something even the most virulent Western governments have not maintained). But how can we know with certainty what happened in a prison cell somewhere in Siberia, when we hardly even know which prison Navalny was in?

Will we discover in a year or so that this is untrue, as we did with Nord Stream (although some of us knew the truth immediately)? Certainly, many untrue things have been said about Navalny since he rose to prominence about 15 years ago.

It was alleged, for instance, that he had been poisoned with Novichok in an attempted assassination in 2020.  Yet this was obvious nonsense.  Two years previously, two Russians in Britain had allegedly been targeted with the same Novichok in Salisbury.  The UK government peddled the line that Russia had used a secret chemical weapon to try to murder Sergei Skripal, an MI6 agent and Russian traitor who had done time in prison and then been exchanged for other spies many years previously. 

The Skripal story itself was impossible to believe.  However if one did hold that the Russian plot to use a secret weapon had been uncovered and had failed – Skripal and his daughter did not die, they have been since whisked away from public view by the British secret services and nobody knows where they are now – then it is literally impossible to claim that the Russians would try the same failed tactic again, two years later, against an even more famous opponent, Navalny. 

In any case, when Navalny fell ill on a domestic flight in Russia, the plane made an emergency landing and Navalny was rushed to hospital.  He was treated there before being sent to a hospital in Germany on his wife's request.  Is this what you do when you are trying to kill someone?  If Navalny had had an illegal chemical weapon in his blood, why would the Russians send him to Germany where it would be discovered?