Assassination attempt on Navalny: suspicious coincidences
The condition of the Russian politician Alexei Navalny remains difficult, but there is no immediate danger to his life.
Due to the severity of the poisoning, it is too early to assess the possible long-term consequences, a press release from the Berlin clinic Charite said, where the Russian opposition leader is undergoing treatment.
Navalny is still in an artificial coma.
The leader of the Russian opposition felt ill and passed out on board the plane on 22 August. After an emergency landing in Omsk, he was taken to a local hospital, and from there, two days later, to the Berlin clinic Charite.
Conclusions of German doctors
A day after the start of the examination in Berlin, the doctors reported: Alexei Navalny was poisoned by an organophosphate, which is a chemical agent used in agricultural fertilizers, medicines and chemical warfare agents. A few milligrams of the substance are enough to poison, but this remains easily detectable in analyses.
Three agents are under suspicion – Sarin, VX and Novichok. The latter was used by Russian agents in an attempt to assassinate former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal in the UK.
The production and storage of chemical warfare agents is prohibited by the International Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
Further research by German doctors will be aimed at identifying the specific substance with which Alexei Navalny was poisoned.
Three European publications at once – The Insider, Der Spiegel and Bellingcat – found out that German doctors from the Charite clinic, who are treating Navalny, contacted Bulgarian doctors who were treating businessman Emelyan Gebrev, who was poisoned in Bulgaria in 2015.
Gebrev was involved in the supply of weapons to Ukraine.
Experts believe that Navalny was exposed to the same substance from the organophosphate family with which Gebrev was poisoned.
According to Deutsche Welle, the doctors asked the German armed forces for help in establishing the substance with which Navalny was poisoned.
German chemist Mark-Michael Bloom led the investigation into the assassination attempt on Skripal as a representative of the International Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. In an interview with Der Spiegel, he said:
– The possibility that the substance with which Navalny was poisoned will not be found exists, but it is small.
– I would ask myself why the Russians want to be associated with illegal substances? Are they that stupid? Cynically speaking, there are more effective ways to kill.
– Some organophosphates cause convulsions in the brain. This can be a big problem, but it is known what kind of therapy should be used.
A criminal case has not been initiated into the case of Alexei Navalny. The authorities explain this by the fact that the specific substance used as a poison has not been identified.
The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office requested the results of Navalny’s examination from Germany.
Russia behaved in a similar way after the assassination attempt on Sergei Skripal – it demanded to be allowed into the investigation.
A comprehensive and open investigation into the assassination attempt on Alexei Navalny was demanded by Germany, France, Great Britain, the United States, Canada and others.
The UN made a similar demand.
Chancellor Merkel’s statement contains the phrase: “Given the long history of similar suspicious cases …”
Similar suspicious cases include:
– Assassination attempt on Sergei Skripal using a “newbie”
– The murder in London of the Russian political emigrant Alexander Litvinenko with the use of a radioactive substance. (An employee of the Russian special services, Andrei Lugovoi, whom the UK considers the organizer of this murder, is now a member of parliament. He became a member of the commission that should study the circumstances of the attempt on Navalny’s life).
– The sudden death of three Russian generals who led the annexation of Crimea, who could have become potential witnesses.
– The sudden death of two deputies of Rodchenkov, the chief informant of the World Anti-Doping Agency in the case of doping in Russian sports.