Novichok, Navalny, Nordstream, Nonsense 443

Once 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 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, 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.

The UK state is of course currently trying to silence one small bubble of dissent by imprisoning me, so you will not have access to another minor but informed view of world events for you to consider. Yesterday I launched a renewed appeal for funds for my legal defence in the Contempt of Court action against me for my reporting of the attempted fit-up of Alex Salmond. I should be extremely grateful if you can contribute to my defence fund, or subscribe to my blog.

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443 thoughts on “Novichok, Navalny, Nordstream, Nonsense

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  • Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh


    — Subject of Christine Ockrent’s weekly Affaires Étrangères program this morning on France Culture radio, with guests Tatiana Kastoueva-Jean, Anna Colin Lebedev, Daniela Schwarzer, Andreï Kozovoï, and Igor Iourgens:

    En Russie, la longue liste des opposants empoisonnés s’est allongée avec le cas, emblématique, d’Alexeï Navalny la semaine dernière. Alors que l’avocat et activiste est toujours en soins intensifs à Berlin, comment interpréter cette tentative d’assassinat à l’aune de la “méthode Poutine” ?

    — Can be reheard here:

    • Jane in France

      Christine Ockrent, wife of Bernard Kouchner, up there among all regime change operations including ex-Yugoslavia. I always turn off any programme presented by that woman.

      • Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh

        I always find (Belgian) Christine Ockrent an excellent, invariably respectful, and very informed interviewer. I have not detected agendas being pushed by her. Moreover, her lucid, measured French optimises my comprehension.

        • Jane in France

          She always has an agenda. She used to present a programme sponsored by the Courrier International.

          • Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh

            Fair enough, Jane. I concede I only know her Affaires Étrangères radio series. Though maybe that work can still be judged on its own merits. As ought she to be of course.

  • Border Bus

    Maybe the “russians” should try bone saws and drones to get rid of opponents.
    Both way more successful than the “military grade” chemical and best, both deemed perfectly acceptable by the US and puppet.

    • Spencer Eagle

      …or maybe contract the CIA to do it. You can rest assured they were responsible for death of Hugo Chavez. Curiously Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Paraguayan Fernando Lugo, and former Brazilian leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva—Latin America’s top anti-US empire leaders—all just happened to contract cancer around the same time by chance. The Chavez visit to the United Nations General Assembly in NYC, September 2006 would perhaps add further suspicion to true cause of his untimely death. Whilst there he was to address the locals at a nearby university, fortunately his security team discovered, using a Geiger counter, that the chair he was mean’t to sit in was dangerously radioactive. Just look at the claimed 668 attempts on Castro’s life.

      • Johny Conspiranoid

        Spencer Eagle
        Yes, all the kit is available as it is used industrialy for taking X-rays of welding (NDT).

    • Giyane

      Listening to Trump poking the Chinese, the US should have thought more carefully about using the Iraqis as target practice and how stupid it makes them look when they complain about other countries.

      Instead of which when they began to realise the Iraqis Iraqis didn’t give a flying fook about them, they decided to teach them another lesson through their Daesh. Trump is just a multibillionaire without a life, surrounded by hoards of other multi billionaires without lives. Having a fit of pique about China’s astonishing technological and financial success.

      It was not until after Britain lost its cruel empire that we started to feel remorse. Can someone please explain to Trump that nuclear weapons hurt?

      • Blissex

        «Trump is just a multibillionaire without a life»

        You could not be more wrong; putting down D Trump with silly make believes like this, or that he is stupid, etc. leads only to underestimate him.
        He has had a full life, full of women, children, business, events, friends. He surely has not had the “real” life of a worker, probably does not relate well to the issues the low paid have, but then people like him think that their lives are the real lives, not those of the workers.
        Still he had been repeating for decades that USA workers have been screwed by reaganism, for all that the same reaganite policies have made him immensely richer by ballooning property prices.

        «Having a fit of pique about China’s astonishing technological and financial success.»

        It is no fit of pique, he has been repeating for decades that offshoring has made USA workers poorer and USA owners richer (the same message of W Buffett), and it is established USA policy, formalized during Clinton’s presidency, to prevent the rise of regional, never mind global, powers, see what happened to England and France in 1956, when they attempted to do some foreign invasion without getting USA permission first.

        «Can someone please explain to Trump that nuclear weapons hurt?»

        How many USA presidents have not started a war? How many have tried to keep to a policy of “detente” despite ferocious opposition by warmongers?

        • Giyane


          Trump’s two tickets to power, making Israel happy and making white supremacists happy
          , is a pretty tiny dick to wave around and the US public is pretty unimpressed by his performance on coronavirus.

          Every maverick billionaire is entitled to propagate his own little fiction, but Trump’s little idea, to add tax on Chinese goods has the charming little reality that goods cost more.

          Ok the coronavirus has allowed him some cover to bung the lungs to big business to fake the economy. But the crass obviousness of his methodology might not escape the notice of discerning punters.

          I grant you that for those into bigger guns and ever nastier war, the worshippers of Raw Power, this president has been soft. But that’s because we have had 40 years of continuous Muslim whacking and it’s time for the players to count their chips.

          So far through a succession of war crimes, the entire Middle East has been destroyed.
          The US owns all of it and all its resources.
          Every fucking chancing playboy gambler has to cash in his chips before they lose it all.

          As the Sunni lady said to the Shi’a man with 50 wives. How could you make so many women unhappy? If she criminal gangster power is what lifts yer skirts up, the president Trump is the latest in a long line of arseholes who love exercising military and political gangster power.

          It makes me sick. But chacun… If it gives you pleasure, who am I to deprive you?
          I thought we were here to support Julian Assange’s struggle against US despotism.
          Not swoon like screaming teenagers.

  • Jack

    And just like that media in the west attack Trump when he wont blame Putin, why would he? No investigations have been made?! Pure propaganda move by the media that simply cannot wait for west to start a war with Russia.

    I suspect russiophobia will accelerate now before, but also after US election if Trump happens to win.

    • PeeMer

      The question is, are Putin’s Russia and the Americans really enemies of each other? Or secret allies, we will see?

  • Tatyana

    Information about a mysterious woman appeared in the ru-net.

    A 33-year-old young woman who recently flew in from London. On August 15 she celebrated her birthday and then went with Navalny on the working trip. When the plane urgently landed in Omsk for Navalny’s hospitalization, the woman also remained on the ground in the ‘Ibis Siberia Omsk’ hotel, waiting for Alexei to recover. She left from Russia to Britain on August 22.

    Maria Konstantinovna Pevchikh (Мария Константиновна Певчих) born in 1987, russian. In 2010 she graduated from the sociological faculty of Moscow Lomonosov State University.
    Lives in London. Fond of sports, trains under the program of “Navy Seals”, an elite US military unit, owns bookstores in the UK and Australia.
    Have close ties with Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Yevgeny Chichvarkin. Joined Navalny’s activity in 2009. At that time, she was 22-year-old and worked as an assistant to one of the British parliamentarians.

    It is alleged that the family and relatives do not know this woman.

    Her photo

    The investigation previously published a chronology of events here
    They discovered that in Tomsk the blogger’s company has booked seven rooms for four people, Navalny himself spent the night in a different room that was recorded in his name.

  • Peter Moritz

    I think the SAKER nailed it. None of this would have happened under Stalin or even Khrushchev. THE PUTIN is totally responsible for the deterioration of the FSB’s capabilities and should be shot for treason to permit this state of incompetence of the security agencies to happen in Russia.
    Maybe the agencies should stick with drones and firearms in general, a little collateral damage never hurt anyone and the US has demonstrated this sufficiently.

    • Laguerre

      The West didn’t dare intervene in the time of Stalin, or Khruschev, for fear of nuclear retaliation. Now they do.

      • Jack

        Exactly and that makes the situation even more dangerous,
        back then many Soviet/Russia and west tried to deescalate the situation, today, many western states seems to do everything to get the conflict escalating instead.

      • Peter Moritz

        “The West didn’t dare intervene in the time of Stalin, or Khruschev, for fear of nuclear retaliation. Now they do”

        Your knowledge of history or present day capabilities of the Russian Military lets you post hilarious BS…..

          • Peter Moritz

            “The West didn’t dare intervene in the time of Stalin, or Khruschev, for fear of nuclear retaliation. “

            The West didn’t dare….you really have to bone up on history.
            The US had atomic warheads stored in Germany and likely the UK as well. The threat of nuclear retaliation did neither prevent the USA from installing missiles in Turkey at the time nor in retaliation Russia to install nukes in Cuba.
            The situation was resolved because either party knew the capabilities and found a way to retreat saving face.
            Either site did of course interfere with spies and undercover action – up to a point.
            Russia killed spies in the UK and likely the US and vice versa.
            Radio Liberty broadcasted happily propaganda, and so did Russian stations.
            Both sides had of course communication means if the situation got ever out of hand. Remember U2..not the band?

            It wasn’t so much fear of retaliation, it was the grudging acknowledgement that either site had speres of interst, and the main concern by both sides was the prevention of expanding those spheres.

            In any case – you seem to be lacking the ability to recognize sarcasm…

          • Laguerre

            It sounds like you’re good at reading web-pages. I regrettably had to live it, all through the fifties and sixties. Your version sounds ex post facto theoretical.

            You weren’t sarcastic in your initial post, though your subsequent posts suggest it.

      • Republicofscotland

        Where Russia is concerned an China and Venezuela and so on, out right military attacks no longer take centre stage, now sanctions slowly like a python crush a countries economy until it yields to the USA and its minions demands. this staged poisoning of Navalny, but not by Russia, will undoubtably lead to more severe sanctions on Russia in an attempt to strangle the life out of its economy.

        This type of warfare and it is warfare, causes untold suffering to the targeted countries civilian population, and should be classed as a crime against humanity.

        • Laguerre

          You’re right. Economic sanctions are the only weapon the US has left which works, as the US public won’t tolerate a single casualty. The question though is how long they will continue to work, as the US allies continue to be unhappy.

          • Peter Moritz

            “as the US public won’t tolerate a single casualty.”

            WTF are you talking about?
            The USA is perfectly willing to fight Russia to the last European NATO member..

          • Laguerre

            “The USA is perfectly willing to fight Russia to the last European NATO member..” That may be right, but I don’t see why you’re vituperative.

          • Republicofscotland

            “WTF are you talking about?
            The USA is perfectly willing to fight Russia to the last European NATO member..”


            An Ex-CIA man, of whom I’ve long forgotten his name used to say the same thing about Saudi Arabia, that the Saudis were willing to fight Iran down to the last American soldier.

          • Squeeth

            Myth, the US state blames the pusillanimity of the public for its tactics of ultraviolence. The Russians would be drowning in their own blood were it not for Russian military power and the Chinese alliance.

    • Peter Moritz

      and here some info about the lovely rogue Navalny:

      “Recall that Alexei Navalny has two suspended sentences and is involved in several criminal cases at once.
      “In December last year, he was sentenced in the case of embezzlement of money from the Yves Rocher company to a three and a half years suspended sentence. His brother Oleg was sentenced to a real three and a half years in prison.
      In 2013, Navalny, who in 2009 worked as an adviser to the governor of the Kirov region, was found guilty of embezzling property of the state-owned company Kirovles and sentenced to five years in a general regime colony. He was taken into custody in the courtroom and placed in a pre-trial detention center, but the very next day the Kirov regional court changed the measure of restraint to a recognizance not to leave. As a result, the sentence was changed to a suspended one.
      In addition, the Investigative Committee is investigating the case of the theft of 100 million rubles from the SPS party against Alexei Navalny since the end of December 2012.
      Activists of Navalny’s team – deputy of the Zyuzino metropolitan area Konstantin Yankauskas, as well as entrepreneurs Nikolai Lyaskin and Vladimir Ashurkov – are suspected of fraud related to violation of the procedure for financing the campaign in the election of the mayor of Moscow.
      Navalny has repeatedly found himself in the role of a defendant in claims for the protection of honor and dignity – for throwing slanderous publications into the Internet. So, recently, the Lublin Court of Moscow satisfied such a claim by the chairman of the State Duma Committee on Economic Policy, Innovative Development and Entrepreneurship Igor Rudensky.”
      (machine translated from here:
      The last picture should make clear what type of person the West again associates with….

      • Peter Moritz

        for those who have difficulties identifying person of historical significance – the portrait above the left nipple is of significance attesting to the mental state of the person displaying it. And it is not Stalin’s portrait.

      • Tatyana

        Peter, I’m not aware of these activities, but what I know for sure is that Navalny is far from being a saint.
        He shot an animal dead, while it was period prohibited for hunting. I remembered it because there was an investigation for poaching, also the police wanted to know how did he get a hunting licence, because Navalny tried to declare himself insane to avoid prosecution.
        Russia don’t give gun licence to insane people.

        Also they said he owned two expensive Benelli guns, hurriedly re-registered to his wife’s that made everyone wonder when did his wife trained and how she managed to get the license herself. His wife had no job, was busy with her family affairs, nontheless there were rumors she was noticed in some caasino in the USA and her expensive Dior dress etc.

        I think Navalny does the same that he accuses other people of doing. For example, he said some very unpleasant words about state officials who send their kids to foreign universities. Voila, his daughter studies in the USA and news said ex-ambassador of the US to Russia is her professor.

        • Peter Moritz

          I was aware for a long time that Navalny was at least an anti Semite and a “Nationalist” with fascist tendencies. That at least is what I would label a person who wears a tattoo of dear Adolph on his breast…

          It is just fitting for the west to acknowledge such a one as “representing” the opposition. The West has no problems with fascists (check Ukraine) as long as it is their fascist against somebody else. Just have a look at the cozy relationship to Saudi Arabia, kind of real Islamo-fascism or the various shady figures that they are tying to replace elected South American leaders with.

          • Tatyana

            I don’t believe in Hitler tattoo, sorry. If Navalny had it, he would be thrown out of the Berlin ambulance directly into the street, as soon as doctors see it. It is Germany, they have no obligation to care of foreign citizen nazi.

          • nevermind

            Peter you are talking utter tosh, hoax fake news.
            Fact is that Nordstream two does not fit into the western, carry on as usual, fracked gas business Trump would like to pursue, so any side issues any space to force a wedge into is legitimate for us to use in causing another lucrative cold war. Our bolt hole economics mean that we can’t do without the arms trade, we can’t do without cheating the system by off shoring, we can’t make ends meet by being self sufficient in food, and we can’t stand not being an empire anymore, so we bark at Russia at every conceivable moment and make out that we can.
            and there is not very much we can do about this sort of well planned menace. Time to start talks about controlling and regulating drones in all their forms. Also time to re start international space talks and regulatory measures.

          • nevermind

            Peter, you are a right ol’ Moritz, you have been hoaxed by more fake news, but why focus on the man when the reality is that we are engaged in a dirty fossil fuel war over Nordstream 2.
            This little ex empire wants to shout as loud as we are used to, spaffing against walls being the best we can do. Nobody cares about Navalny, but it is clear that some western stooge whacked this FSB asset.
            Why asset? He is the one unpopular opposition leader (2-3%) who nevertheless justifies Russia s determination to look like a democracy, Navalny’s arrests of the past, but never taken out of the equation, make this quiet obvious, he is not a two faced Litvinienko or Scripal

      • Will Tribe

        “The last picture should make clear what type of person the West again associates with….”

        Peter, that photo supposedly of Navalny. Really? Come on! And you’re telling others here to “bone up”.

  • Border Bus

    If it comes to it, we must make sure that the likes of steele, urban, stoltenberg etc are right out there at the FRONT

      • Mr V

        Stoltenberg is so rabidly and unquestioningly pro-NATO (up to and excusing and whitewashing NATO and NATO members aggression on other countries, see his apologist nonsense when Turkey invaded Syria and started shooting Kurds) I honestly wonder if he was either heavily bribed or if USA has some big blackmail material on him. He wouldn’t got extension as NATO figurehead if he wasn’t more useful than all potential competitors…

    • Giyane


      I have the same feeling as you. Russophobia simply indicates the bastards are working together against us the steeple. Chinaphobia maybe indicates the Chinese leadership and US leadership jointly want to cull the older generation with bio warfare.

      Since none of UK , US. Russia nor China are democracies, their only task is to manage the narrative they tell the people. If I was to go out and buy a product made in China, half the cost would be for transport or profit to the dealer. That is a shared enterprise. One party for example manufactures a diesel generator, while the Western parties sit on their bums and take profit.

      Sounds too cosy to me.

    • M.J.

      Mark 3:24-6.
      That is why this theory is дезинформация, a well-known KGB tactic. Putin was a KGB agent, and its Technical Operations directorate specialises in creating poisons, which would be used by Deparment V agents. You will find many instructive examples in John Barron’s book “KGB: the secret work of Soviet secret agents”. Among the stories is the alarm caused by the defection of Oleg Lyalin of Department V, in 1971 to Great Britain.

      But an equally interetsing question is: what sort of person would believe that Merkel in a free Germany would collaborate with a former KGB occupier? As wiki puts it, “She did not participate in the secular coming of age ceremony Jugendweihe, however, which was common in East Germany. Instead, she was confirmed. During this time, she participated in several compulsory courses on Marxism-Leninism with her grades only being regarded as “sufficient”. Not exactly an enthusiastic party member!

      • Tatyana

        I agree, my idea is stupid (though I still find it amusing) but disinformation ??? What a strange mindset could drive you to this assessment?

        I visited Navalny’s website yesterday to see the latest news. Once again I was convinced that I was not on the way with his team. Extremely intolerant.
        Just take a look at these comments:

        – Alexey, get better, Russia needs you
        – A couple of hundred hamsters are not all of Russia
        – Not all … Also, not all of Russia is the same stupid cattle as you
        – A tricky question: why are the fan(s) of Navalny so far from intelligent, cultural communication? Why do you, almost everyone, have such a foul rhetoric? Apparently, you are selected at the casting with some special, marginal requirements ??? No, really, I’m amused by your cretinism …
        – On what basis do you conclude that Larisa Volodina is a “stupid cattle”? Because her opinion is different from yours?
        – Enough cultural communication with you, scum
        – With us – with whom? With citizens who have opinions and views that differ from yours?
        etc etc

        I see them as some kind of cult that brands all those who dissent with humiliating labels. How do they intend to put their leader into presidency? Do they truely believe his party could have great success among common people, given this despiteful attitude?
        I think, no. Navalny and co. are not that stupid. It is that their aim is not to put him into presidency. They exist to criticise Putin and nothing more. The same as Pussy Riot, who are far from music and zero chance to ever get to the big stage. They simply lack something essential for wide public, the same as Navalny lacks something essential to be a good president for all russians. Honestly, I’d keep him away from any public position, away from working with live people. He is not fit for that.

    • David G

      I know you’re mostly kidding, but if we hadn’t heard from the doctors in Omsk, who clearly labored mightily to save his life, that scenario would be pretty high on my list.

  • doug scorgie

    September 4, 2020 at 16:07
    Article 56 of the Geneva Convention makes it clear that an occupying state is responsible for any negative developments in the occupied territory. Russia is therefore responsible for any problems related to a shortage of water.Putin [sic] should have thought about this problem back in 2014 when Russian armed forces began to occupy the territory. However, he prefers to argue that Ukraine is responsible for the water shortage on the peninsula.

    Well Kempi, have you got the correct Article number in the Geneva Convention. Article 56 deals with the Red Cross.
    Article 49, Fourth Geneva Convention: “…The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population in the territory it occupies.”

    On Dec. 5, 2001, 114 of the “High Contracting Parties” (i.e. the sponsors) of the Fourth Geneva Convention unanimously “reaffirmed the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the OccupiedPalestinianTerritory, including East Jerusalem..” In addition, they “reaffirmed the illegality of the settlements in the said territories and the extension thereof.” This specifically counters Israeli arguments that the Fourth Geneva Convention doesn’t apply to Jewish colonies in the OccupiedTerritories.

    With the exception of one Jewish convert, AI is aware of only one Palestinian family living in Israeli settlements in the OccupiedTerritories. (AI, Sep. 8, 2003, MDE 15/085/2003) The UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in 1998 reiterated its view that “Israeli settlements in the OccupiedPalestinianTerritories are not only illegal under contemporary international law but are an obstacle to peace and to the enjoyment of human rights by the whole population in the region.”
    Russia’s occupation of the Crimea is regarded as illegal under international law but the cutting off of water to Crimea by Ukraine is just as illegal and a crime against humanity and the right to water under international conventions.

  • Seer

    Its all about stopping Nordstream-2, merkel needs a reason to back out at this late stage, political and otherwise. The great satans pimpeo has said it will stop at nothing but has now given the FSB enough cause to eliminate browder and khodorokovsky, two thorns in putins flesh, the gloves are off, interesting times ahead? Will yaweh protect the two chosen market traders or will the chechens allah and the ROC prevail !!!!

    • Laguerre

      Merkel won’t pull out of Nordstream 2 in my view. Germany needs it too much. And the German network is connected to the rest of the EU. When renewables are more on-line, perhaps, but not now. Pompeo is living in the clouds, if he thinks faking an assassination of Navalny is going to change German policy. There’ll be a diplomatic duet, but not more.

    • Giyane


      What , pray, is the connection between the Chechen Allah and the Republic of China? Have you been chewing too many laurel leaves?

  • Shatnersrug

    My friend David Gaeber has died. He was a giant of the left to lose such a towering voice of the left has left me dumbfounded. Many time we debate his ideas of anarchism and mine of marxism both well aware that our position hd more in common than difference, i shall miss him but the movement will more. Felt he should get a mention here, forgive me if others have

  • Hamish Kirk

    Comment from my friend Victor in Berlin –

    Thanks very much for the Craig Murray article, which was both very well-written and very convincing! The whole event seemed more than dubious from the start. What is also rarely mentioned is that Navalny has a nasty record as a right-wing racist – against all “non-Russian” nationalities. His western backers evidently persuaded him to tone down such utterances so they could convert him into a freedom hero.
    I was also motivated to read more about Murray and some of the very courageous positions he has taken in past years (evidently leading to the present attack against him)!

  • SteveK9

    All very true, and obvious really. As an aside, throwing this into your article ‘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.’, does not help with your reality-based colleagues. Your expertise is in geopolitics … not energy production technology.

    • Pigeon English

      Germany is at 40% renewable and will ideally reach 60% in 10 years. Should German people freeze in mean time or Germany should stop producing stuff so people can get heating? Or maybe use Gas instead of coal powered power plants(40% of electricity)? Or maybe as some commentators on this blog suggest nuclear is the way forward. Your expertise is neither geopolitics or energy production technology realities! I admire your optimism but elaborate Germany’s
      path to self sufficiency without coal or gas or nuclear and time frame?

      • Howard Marks

        Natural gas for heating is essential until Geothermal is better development in Europe. The mission of renewables is to get 100% of the energy that comes to your wall socket to be clean and green. The problem with the way energy is measured is that heating and wall socket energy and merged together in national stats. We need to divorce the two.

        • Laguerre

          “heating and wall socket energy” can only be divorced in stable urban environments. That’s far from everything.

    • Pigeon English

      BTW is it coincidence that France has half CO2 emission than Germany ( it is not half the size neither half industrial output) but has Nuclear power stations?

  • Mr Howard S Marks

    You are really missing the point. NOVICHOK which you should know was developed (though not originally invented) in a lab in Soviet Uzbekistan, which following post Soviet independence, was dismantled by the CIA who took the samples back home to the USA. So it is the Americans not the Russians who have the original well-spring.
    NOVICHOK is a highly toxic and contagious substance. The reason why “it didn’t kill the Skripals” is because it was never used on the Skripals just as it has not been used on Navalny. In both cases there would have been dozens of collateral victims. From the moment Navalny started to reel with pain during the domestic commercial flight to 4 days later when amid treatment in Berlin it is reasonable to estimate that 300 to 400 people had been in his proximity. Not one of them has shown or known to have contaged symptons. Let us list the narrative.
    Original domestic commercial flight, passengers, crew & colleagues travelling with him
    Ambulance to Russian hospital in Omsk…ambulance crew
    Doctors, nurses, officials, press and Navalny family at hospital in Omsk
    German doctors arrived the next day, working along side Russian doctors whom they praised and credited with saving Navalny’s life.
    Russian doctors agree to release Navalny for medivac transport against their own medical advice, respecting Navalny family wishes.
    Ambulance crew once again takes Navalny in the reverse direction back to the airport where the private jet was waiting. Introducing the
    patient with the “military grade nerve agent” oozing out of his skin to a new flight crew.
    Plane lands in Berlin and a German ambulance crew now handles the human chemical warfare torpedo. Note the German ambulance crew members had short sleeves. If the German Gov believed there was a possibility of a Novichok type substance at play why was the official greeting party not all dressed up like those Mi5 Salisbury central casting extras in Hazmat suits?
    The convoy arrives at the hospital in Berlin handing Navalny over to the German team no doubt comprised of endless staff members.
    I think my estimate of a total 300 to 400 people within the first 3 to 4 days having been within close proximity to Navalny is quite reasonable. If he was really was infected with an horrific chemical warfare agent, why would he even be allowed into Germany ?

  • Howard Marks

    As for Navalny and the Russian administration and the Russian public, they both view him as useful but not likeable. The Putin administration has made good use of reports by Navalny’s anti-corruption group to expose both people in government and in business. The Russian public watches the Youtube videos of Navalny’s reports to the tune of millions of hits & clicks. However as a person Alexei Navalny is not like and for good reason. This is reflected in his 2% poll rated that due to all the current focus has moved up to 4% for Navalny as a potential “politician” (he is actually already a failed one) 4% is his high water mark. The likes of The Guardian and The Independent have portrayed Navalny over the years as some kind of Russian Nelson Mandela when in fact Navalny is a better educated more sophisticated Tommy Robinson. Only Navalny is even more racist than so-called “Tommy Robinson” as I don’t even recall him ever saying “All Muslims are cockroaches” as Navalny was once quoted to have said. In political terms he is a cult leader of an SPB/Moscow elitist metropolitan cult that does not give a damn about most of Russia. He and his political cohorts such as Ms Sobol offer not one single policy for the people of the Russian Heartland. Who are far better cared for and better represented by Valdimir Putin, whom the Heartland people lovingly address as Vladimirovich, President Putin’s middle name. Navalny is even more Neo-Liberal and far less small “l” liberal in general values and mindset than President Putin.

    • Tatyana

      The description is very accurate, and the definition of “elite metropolitan cult” hit the bull’s eye. Young people think that being an oppositionist is being active, fashionable, trendy (also at protests you can post photos on Instagram!) Unfortunately, if they are asked specific questions, they cannot answer. They are there for self-expression.

      People follow ideas, Navalny’s idea is not clear, where is the plan, where is the perspective? Looking at Navalny’s activity, I feel they are trying to sell me something.

      E.g. his website promotes the Smart Voting system
      the title is “Do you want it like in Belarus? Here is a list of candidates, find yours”
      the first paragraph point is “to support the rebellious people in word, action and money is very right, but you may do even more right thing…”
      the second “it is impossible to use your vote wisely without our smart voting system”, a call to action “register”
      the third “a few brave Spartans (sic!) broke through Putin’s evil cordons and you can support them… here is how:
      1. Check out the list of candidates. Transfer money to someone you like…

      Well, actually I sell something myself and I wright similar marketing texts. Compare:
      “Are you in search of Boho, Ethnic or Tribal fashion? You’re in the right place… Our unique *** is the way to express your style!
      Does your daughter think of cutting off her gorgeous long hair? Get a pair of our *** for her to show your love and care… Here is how: visit our shop *** Choose the one you like and let us work on the perfect *** crafted especially for you …”

      When people create an online store of political candidates, it is not credible. Our electoral system means collecting signatures, real signatures of living people, not collecting money.

  • Dr. Isakov Dmitry

    Just Subscribed to your blog. Sorry for reading it for several years without any support. I value your arguments and sober analysis. Thank you for the great job.

  • James Chater

    I tend to agree that if they had wanted to kill him they could have done so. One plausible explanation is that the perpetrator(s) decided to hurt him but not kill him.

    • Ken Kenn

      I’m not being flippant but perhaps he could have threatened him at playtime?

      The media went from Novichok ( ie. presumable effect: stone cold dead ) to something less effective ( Novichok of a type that’s not very good at killing people ) which eventually turned into a warning Novichok
      to other oppositionists.

      I think being killed is better warning to the opposition than hospitalisation.

      As far as I know only one person ( thank goodness ) has died from the Salisbury incident and we still don’t know what the cause of death was.

      According to the BBC Doco Drama – ” The bottle the police found – was FULL of Novichok.” at Charlie’s house.

      Only one dead?

      Of what exactly?

      One for the BBC there.

      Look on the bright side – Laura’s back.

      The human mobile phone mast for CCHQ.


  • Ryszard Daniel

    Thank you for your courage to speak the truth Mr. Murray. I am trying to do it sometimes too here in the Netherlands, but I am an engineer, not a politician or journalist, so my means and persuasive talents are limited. However – to stay on the topic of poison – it feels good to see that the anti-Russian propaganda has not poisoned all minds in West Europe yet.

  • Tatyana

    It’s only today that I’ve realised who is Prigozhin. He is the owner of Concord group, they were those russian with whom Trump conspired to win elections!
    Prigozhin sent 1 million roubles to Charite for Navalny.

    • Uncle Sam

      He sent 1 million rubles while at the same time demanding 29 million rubles from Navalny’s group. Это было издевательство

      • Tatyana

        He demands 88 millions, I wrote about it previously. It is a demand due to court’s decision.
        I don’t think it was издевательство, it looks more like Prigozhin is afraid of being accused of poisoning 🙂

  • Nigel

    Russophobes these days, which is an enormous section of the population, will believe anything dastardly about that country and its leadership. The narrative here, that doesn’t stand up to the slightest scrutiny as Murray shows, is that the Russians are bumbling villains that couldn’t kill a wet paper bag.

    Another narrative is that they didn’t kill Navalny on purpose. It’s just “a warning”, etc.. A villain is a villain.

    One BS story is as good as another. Of course, there should be a delay between one fiction and the next one. However, the old saying still applies: throw enough sh*t and something is bound to stick.

    At the interpersonal level, it’s sometimes simpler to simply exaggerate the exaggeration: e.g., Putin is a villain and look at what he did to dirty my underwear; there’s a Putin under your bed; yeah, and what about the bad weather we’ve been having? Putin, of course.

    And it’s not like any of this is new, e.g., US President Reagan: “Russia has been outlawed forever. Bombing begins in 5 minutes.”

  • Border Bus

    Who benefits?
    For certain not the Joe Publics of UK, Russia and Germany but maybe the likes of exxon, chevron, bp etc might.

  • George Craik

    This is copied from Dimitry Orlov

    Taxi Drivers Know Everything

    It so happened that yesterday I was coming home in a taxi. The taxi driver, who looked like Bill Murray, turned out to be very talkative: during the trip, as often happens, we touched on all subjects, from the weather to blondes behind the wheel.

    At some point, as background noise, there was some news read out on the radio. After the segment about the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, NordStream 2 and possible EU sanctions the taxi driver shook his head and said thoughtfully: “Yeah, mommy is stuck…”

    “What mommy?” I inquired.

    “What mommy?” asked the taxi driver. “That same one, Angela Merkel. You know why Navalny was surrendered to Germany? Let me explain.” And then, for a quarter of an hour, the taxi driver presented a coherent theory of what happened, worthy of study at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which answered all the questions that had been bothering me.

    This is how it all came down.

    At the beginning of August everybody was preparing for the elections in Belarus—Belarus itself, as well as Russia and countries in the EU. It was an exciting game in which everybody placed bets on their own candidate. But I must immediately warn you that what we were observing was just the visible part of the iceberg, while the underwater currents were known only to a few.

    Moscow and Minsk were demonstratively smashing dishes, shouting at each other and pulling each other by the hair, creating the illusion of a complete break in relations. This was as intended!

    Europe, content and relaxed, was rubbing its hands and already seeing how it will very soon kick out “Europe’s last dictator” and install a Belorussian Juan Guaido clone in Minsk, grabbing this delectable piece for itself.

    The elections were held. Everybody froze. Not bothering to wait for the election results to come in, on orders from the Polish provocateur [Telegraph channel] Nexta the Belorussian white-red-white [Nazi occupation flag] opposition marched into battle.

    At first everything was going to plan. Excited white-red-white crowds flooded the streets and started threatening the police, officials and journalists, starting skirmishes and strikes. Slovak and Spanish ambassadors in Belarus spoke out in support of the protesters and “came over to the side of the people.” This was also as intended. It looked like just a bit more of this and [“Europe’s last dictator”] Lukashenko would fall.

    But then Moscow entered into the game. It recognized the outcome of the elections [which Lukashenko won] and started to support him organizationally, informationally and financially. Europe had to ramp up pressure. But how?
    Nexta was crapping bricks and exhorting the white-red-white activists to get more active, but they just couldn’t get any traction in their attempts to seize power. They turned out to be too weak compared to their own people.
    And then, luckily, Navalny was poisoned. In any case, that’s what some people imagined.

    Operatives at the German Ministry of International Affairs, who sympathized with Schröder’s SPD, got in touch with Yulia Navalny (his wife) and offered to hospitalize him in a clinic in Germany. Yulia agreed, and appealed to Putin.

    Then the German minister of foreign affairs walked into Bundeskanzlerin’s office and laid his joker on the table: “We can take away Navalny for treatment. If Moscow tries to prevent this, we will cause a loud scandal. We’ll get his body and then decide how to play this.” Merkel found this proposal attractive and, not thinking too long, agreed. Moscow did not object to Navalny’s transfer.

    After Navalny was brought to Germany and delivered to the Charité clinic in a cortège consisting of 12 cars, mommy Angela called Moscow and demanded: Russia must stop supporting Lukashenko, otherwise we will announce that Navalny had been poisoned with “Novichok.” Moscow refused and increased support of Lukashenko, declaring that it has created a reserve of special forces to be sent into Belarus and take control—just in case anyone makes a sudden move.

    The next day Berlin announced that analysis results showed poisoning with a cholinesterase inhibitor. This was its last warning shot. Then there was another phone call, to warn that the next time “Novichok” will be found. Moscow refused, and promised Minsk a billion dollars on that very day.

    At that point, Berlin’s patience ran out. Navalny was immediately transferred to a military hospital, where it was immediately “discovered” that he had been poisoned with “Novichok.” It was not possible to find “Novichok” while he was at Charité because journalists and officials could demand to see the test results, while at a military hospital such requests would be denied: the information is secret. But not even “Novichok” could force Moscow to stop supporting Minsk. Russia’s prime minister Mikhail Mishustin was dispatched to Minsk with a briefcase bulging with papers to sign.

    There followed an attempt by Fritz Merz, Angela Merkel’s deputy in the DCU, to lean on Merkel to shut down NordStream 2, but he swiftly got his ears boxed by the business lobby of German companies that invested in this pipeline and, whining and whimpering, crawled back into his hole.

    Then Lukashenko, being a tough nut to crack, presented an intentionally amateurish intercept of secret diplomatic communications between Poland and Germany in which they discussed their plans for poisoning Navalny. Now they are sitting in Warsaw and Berlin and have no idea how to respond to this movie—to deny or to pretend that they didn’t notice it. What a dilemma!

    The interim result is thus as follows: Navalny is alive and well, sitting quietly in a German military hospital and inquiring periodically when he will be allowed to go home. But he won’t be allowed to go home any time soon.

    Now, a year ahead of elections, parliamentary electoral campaign is starting in Germany. Merkel’s DCU/CSU coalition doesn’t have a lot of popular support as it is. Some people are even now ready to take the Reichstag with their bare hands and put their own flag on top of it. And then we have this toxic story with “Novichok”!

    If Merkel announces that it is the crime of the century in which a great Russian opposition figure has been fiendishly poisoned with “Novichok,” then she would be obligated to sever all relations with the bloody regime and present evidence. But there won’t be any evidence to present. And nobody will allow her to freeze the completion of the pipeline. Otherwise German companies, which invested in NordStream 2 will take the Reichstag even ahead of the irate German citizens. In either case, DCU/CSU will face a defeat.

    But if she slams the transmission into reverse, apologizes and returns Navalny to Russia, claiming that what happened was an unfortunate series of errors, and punishes everybody who had put her in this situation to the full extent of German law, this won’t save the situation either. German voter’s won’t forgive Merkel over the loss of Germany’s international authority, loss of influence in Europe and total incompetence in handling foreign affairs, and will still punish her at the polls.

    Therefore, her only choice is to bide her time, sitting with one buttock on each of two chairs—blaming Russia for deploying “Novichok” and simultaneously supporting the completion of NordStream 2. But we are about to see a flood of eyewitness reports, photographs and documents from the various hospitals where the VIP patient has been treated, knocking out one of the two chairs. And so the possibility that Merkel’s retirement will occur before her term is up should not be dismissed. In that case, she will have been unable to beat Helmut’s Kohl’s 16-year record as Bundeskanzler.

    But what about Russia’s friend Gehrhard Schröder? Being the chairman of the board of the NordStream 2 company and head of the SPD, he looks into the future with confidence and optimism. In any case, CDU/CSU will be deflated and SPD will reinforce its position in the Bundestag and either independently or in coalition with other parties will install its own leader as Bundeskanzler. NordStream 2, which has been in political limbo for a few years, will be completed and enter into service at full rated capacity very quickly.

    When we rolled up to my house, the taxi driver asked: “Do you play chess?”

    “Sometimes,” I nodded.

    In chess, there is a variation called “poisoned pawn.” Your opponent, trying to gain material advantage, takes this pawn, ends up trapped and inevitably loses.

    As I was getting out of the taxi, somewhat perplexed, I asked the taxi driver where he got all this information. He smiled a sad Bill Murray smile and answered: “From my brother. He lives in Germany and also works as a taxi driver.” It was at this moment that I realized that taxi drivers know everything.

    Source: SKonst

    • banagher

      George, ein super guter Bericht. Diesen Mann, wenn Sie ihn wieder sehen würden, würde ich zum Außenminister ernennen und Heiko Maas (Außenminister) in die Wüste schicken!

  • Mary

    Sky News have just had Hamish de B-G on live from Salisbury giving out all the rot on Navalny and how the latter has recovered from a dose of novichok.

    The presenter Samuels fed him with all the right questions enabling Russia to be put in the frame.

    Our Hamish is so s m o o t h with his neat haircut and a pale blue checked shirt. Butter wouldn’t melt etc.

    Short excerpt on here.

    Former head of the British Army’s chemical weapons unit, Hamish De Bretton-Gordon says it is “remarkable” that Alexei Navalny has been pictured walking only three weeks after he was poisoned with “the most toxic man made chemical”.

    More on this story:

  • Tatyana

    Alexey Navalny updated his Instagram. Just look at it! I translate it for you:

    Let me tell you how my recovery is going. This is a clear road already, albeit not a short one. All the current problems like the fact that the phone in my hands is useless as a stone, and pouring myself some water turns into a whole attraction – are sheer nonsense.

    I’ll explain. Quite recently, I did not recognize people and did not understand how to talk. Every morning the doctor came to me and said: “Alexey, I brought a board, let’s figure out what word to write on it.” This drove me to despair, because although I already understood in general what the doctor wanted, I did not understand where to get the words. How do they appear in the head? Where to find a word and how to make it mean something? All this was totally incomprehensible. However, I also didn’t know how to express my despair and therefore simply kept silent. Yet I’m describing the later stage, which I remember.

    Now I’m a guy whose legs are shaking when he walks up the stairs, but he thinks: “Oh, this is a staircase! Climb along it. Perhaps we should look for an elevator. ” Before, I would have just stood there and stared at it.

    So there are still many problems to be solved, but the amazing doctors at the Charite University Hospital Berlin solved the main problem. They turned me from a “technically alive person” into someone who has every chance to become the Highest Form of Being in Modern Society again – a person who can quickly scroll through Instagram and without hesitation understands where to put the ‘likes’.

    Am I alone who think that Novichok has a beneficial effect on cognitive abilities?
    I recall Yulia Skripal’s text with that phrase in her second language “I do not wish to avail myself of their services…” The same diplomatic and convoluted way of expressing one’s thoughts is in Navalny’s text.

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