US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Russian expert Dmitry Egorchenkov, on the pages of a German publication, presented convincing arguments about Russia’s innocence in the poisoning of Navalny and asked critics a number of logical questions. Could Putin have given his opponents such a trump card for imposing new sanctions?
Russia denies any responsibility for the “unequivocally” (German: zweifelsfrei) poisoning of opposition politician Alexei Navalny by the Bundeswehr laboratory with the help of a military nerve agent of the Novichok group. In the spirit of the Latin dictum “we will also listen to the other side” (audiatur et altera pars (lat.)), European magazine provides an opportunity for the Russian political expert Dmitry Egorchenkov to present his arguments. The editors of the European Journal have refused to shorten, smooth out or change this text (except for one or two spelling corrections).
Since August 20, well-known Russian opposition blogger Alexei Navalny has once again been in the spotlight of the media. Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel said that, according to military information, traces of the Novichok chemical warfare agent were found in Navalny’s samples and that this is a crime against fundamental Western values.
Washington and NATO headquarters also agreed with these conclusions. On August 22, Navalny was taken to the Berlin Charité clinic for treatment. He was connected to a ventilator, but at the moment nothing threatens his life. Today, almost no one remembers that it was largely the merit of the doctors from the Siberian city of Omsk that they managed to stabilize the patient’s condition in the first hours, and this made it possible to transport Navalny to Berlin.
Poisoning? If you carefully analyze publications on this topic in the American and even European press, and especially in the Russian opposition media, you get the impression that the poisoning attempt has already been proven. Evidence of the guilt of the Kremlin and Putin personally has already been presented. Here is their most important content: “Who else could have done this, if not Putin?”
The reactions of Navalny’s supporters on social media are also interesting. They ask many questions about the quality of the Russian health care system, about the professionalism of doctors in Omsk, and, naturally, about the openness and honesty of the Russian authorities, which were accused of committing this crime even before Navalny’s first medical examination.
And now we have learned that the Russians in their own country used a chemical warfare agent against their own citizen, the traces of which were found by Federal Chancellor Merkel.
Open questions remain
But the harder the accusations sound, the more open questions there are to try to answer. In this case, our professional duty is to bring these issues to the attention of the European public. This whole story should be approached not emotionally, but rationally, without taking on the role of Putin’s lawyer or his accuser. Like one famous character of the British writer Agatha Christie, namely, the Belgian private detective Hercule Poirot, we will not ask the standard questions that the police usually ask (and in our case the society on the Internet), but we will use completely different ones.
So what do we know? All parties insist that the serious incident with Mr. Navalny should be investigated as thoroughly and transparently as possible. Merkel speaks about it, Macron speaks about it. But this is exactly what Putin said in his conversation with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. To confirm this, Omsk doctors immediately provided their German colleagues with the results of their research. They also announced their readiness to submit the studied biomaterials but were refused by European experts. Why?
When Alexei fell into a coma, parallels began to be drawn with “the case of Sergei Skrepal and Yulia Skripal,” whom the Kremlin allegedly tried to poison with the help of the GRU military intelligence and the Novichok poisoning agent. By the way, what is happening now with this story, which at one time attracted so much attention to itself? The premonition did not deceive us. However, in Navalny’s case, there were no references to “secret service agents.” Next to him was his personal assistant, who handed him a cup of tea before the flight, in which, apparently, the poison was supposed to be. Has anyone spoken to this assistant? Will the recordings of this conversation be investigated if the poisoning version is confirmed? And here’s the most important thing: why use a chemical warfare agent to kill an inconvenient politician in the depths of the country, in Siberia, and then send the victim to Berlin for independent research? What is the point of such a covert operation by the insidious KGB?
Who delayed the plane’s departure?
We know that Mr. Navalny’s relatives and employees almost immediately demanded that he be sent to Germany and that German specialists, despite the restrictions imposed in Russia due to the coronavirus pandemic, were allowed to fly to our country. As soon as Navalny’s condition was stabilized, the Russian side immediately announced its readiness to speed up the departure of the plane and the transportation of the opposition politician. However, German pilots and doctors, citing fatigue and the need for sleep, took Navalny onboard only 12 hours later!
Why do they not pay attention to this slowness of the German specialists, but at the same time pour out streams of criticism towards the Russian doctors, who in a very short period of time and in difficult conditions were able to prepare Navalny for the flight? In addition, Navalny had no right to leave the country – not only because of the Covid-19 situation but also because of his obligations to the court. However, he was flown to Berlin on a private jet paid for by Russian multimillionaire Boris Zimin. Do you really believe that all these permits and the most favorable conditions could have been made without Putin’s consent? Once again I ask the question: does the existing regime in Russia want to get rid of Navalny and transport him for treatment? If this was an attempt to intimidate the political opposition,
And now the turn has come not for political, but for purely medical issues. The Charite Clinic said in a statement that atropine was used to treat Navalny. It turns out that local doctors, like their Berlin colleagues, used atropine in the course of treatment. What news! So what is the difference between treatment in Berlin and treatment in Omsk?
According to doctors from the Charite hospital, some “clinical data” point to the poisoning of Alexei Navalny. But so far no trace of any particular harmful substance or poison has been found, has it? This is not about toxins, but about the consequences of intoxication. Is it possible, in this case, to talk about specific facts of poisoning?
We still remember what measures were taken in Salisbury to protect local residents, but there was nothing like this either in Russia or in Germany. If some kind of chemical warfare agent were used in the Airplane or at the airport, then there would have to be other victims – doctors accompanying the Russian opposition politician and members of Navalny’s family who had long-term contact with him. We would love to know what chemical traces are we talking about? By the way, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also asked for clarification on this score.
And finally, one more question: was the diagnosis of the Russian doctors refuted, who came to the conclusion that the condition of Mr. Navalny was caused by problems with the metabolism? Why weren’t there any arguments against this version? Why was this issue not raised and discussed? In fact, Alexei Navalny has changed a lot from the outside. To be convinced of this, just look at his photographs two or three years ago. The Internet remembers everything. The use of military chemistry looks different.
How should this situation be perceived from the point of view of freedom of information? In a distant Siberian city, local doctors reported on their patient’s condition almost hourly. What do we see in Berlin? Nothing. Information vacuum. Even the announced press conference with the participation of doctors was canceled. This decision was made in a hurry and almost at the highest level. In the 21st century, this kind of message replaces an investigation and a court decision. And this should contribute to an objective investigation of the circumstances of the incident with Navalny?
Relations between Russia and Europe
If Putin is mentioned, then it makes sense to consider this situation from the point of view of Russian internal politics, geopolitics, and elementary information background. Two months ago, Russians voted overwhelmingly in favor of Putin’s proposed new constitution. Russian scientists, in the direction of Putin, were the first in the world to develop a vaccine against Covid-19. This is a great victory, despite attempts to deny it in many parts of the world.
Today, relations between Russia and Europe could become stronger, especially against the background of cooler relations between the European Union and the United States. See how Angela Merkel is constantly defending the Nord Stream 2 project? So what? Could Putin have given his opponents such a trump card for imposing new sanctions? And for this “once again” to use exactly the substance that everyone expects of him? Bravo, Russians! It’s a pleasure doing business with you. This was done by the same Putin who served in the KGB and who knows how covert operations are conducted and how the death of Mr. Navalny can be used to increase informational pressure on Moscow?
These are all key questions that hardly anyone can answer quickly. But if you look at them through the eyes of a detective, it becomes clear that Putin will not benefit from the poisoning of Mr. Navalny and from the international scandal surrounding the incident. You don’t have to be Hercule Poirot to understand this.
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