Cups of tea and bottles of water

The Navalny poisoning story keeps getting odder. After the Russian oppositionist fell ill on a flight from the Siberian city of Tomsk, his supporters claimed that he was likely poisoned by a cup of tea he consumed at Tomsk airport. Now we’re told that the poison was in a bottle of water he drank in his hotel in the same town. Alexei Navalny’s team have released a video showing them packaging up materials from Navalny’s hotel room including a couple of water bottles. This, we must suppose, is meant to corroborate the bottle poisoning thesis.

Personally, I have no reason to doubt that a German laboratory found, as it claimed, a chemical of the Novichok-type in the bottle in question. The identification of the nerve agent in (or on, it’s not entirely clear which) the bottle then allowed the Germans to confirm the type of ‘cholinesterase inhibitor’ in Navalny’s blood. This may explain why Russian doctors were not able to confirm the presence of poison – they didn’t have a sample to compare the blood with. Beyond that, though, the latest twist in the Navalny story leaves one with a lot of questions.

The cup of tea scenario never made a lot of sense. To poison Navalny that way would have meant a) knowing in advance that he was going to have a cup of tea in the airport; b) knowing at which café his colleague would buy it; c) knowing who that colleague would be and telling the poisoner, so that s/he gave the right cup to the right person; d) somehow obtaining the cooperation of whoever would be serving tea at that time and in that place; and e) somehow getting them to lace Navalny’s tea with Novichok while not contaminating anybody else’s food or drink or poisoning themselves. Clearly, this didn’t make a lot of sense from a practical point of view.

The problem with the bottle of water scenario is that it isn’t more obviously practical. Unless this was an inside job, and the bottle was laced by one of Navalny’s entourage, one has to wonder how a would-be poisoner would know that Navalny would drink from that particular bottle of water in that particular room.

If it was one of those complimentary bottles one finds in hotel rooms, one can see how it could be done – the poisoner sneaks in the room, replaces one of the complimentary bottles with a pre-poisoned one, and sneaks out. But how did s/he know which room Navalny would be staying in? (I understand that his staff never book under his name – so even if you can identify rooms booked by the staff, you wouldn’t know which one was Navalny’s, not another member of the team’s). And how did the poisoner know that Navalny, and not somebody else, would drink from that specific bottle? There may be good answers to these questions, but they’re not immediately obvious.

Then, of course, there are the issues of how the bottle got packed and transported to Germany without infecting anybody else, and why it apparently took hours for the poison to have its effect. Again, there may be good answers, but as yet they aren’t clear.

Planting a poisoned water bottle in a target’s room could indeed work as a method of murder, but it’s fraught with risks of failure – the target just doesn’t drink any water; someone else drinks from the bottle; and so on. If you want to kill somebody, you can imagine a simpler, and far more certain, way of going about it.

But at this point, we don’t even know that the water bottle was one provided by the hotel. What if it was one Navalny and his staff bought elsewhere? If that’s the case, how on earth was the poison delivered into the bottle? I can’t say that I can see how.

In short, it’s not impossible that Navalny was indeed poisoned this way, but it’s difficult to work out the exact dynamics of it, and it’s a scenario which begs a lot of questions.

So, how do we get answers?

First, the German government needs to be a lot more forthcoming with information. At present, it’s refusing to tell the Russians anything. It’s position seems to be that the Russian authorities are guilty of the crime, and therefore can’t be trusted with the evidence and should just confess. Obviously, this isn’t a very good way of getting the Russians to cooperate.

Second, the Russian government needs to show a much greater enthusiasm in investigating (at present, the authorities have just carried out what they call a ‘pre-investigation’, which appears to be less than thorough). The authorities’ attitude seems to be that the whole story is a plot to frame them and so it’s best to pretend that no crime was committed at all. Equally obviously, this isn’t a very good way of convincing outsiders of their innocence.

As I said before, the Russians need to take this rather more seriously. Everyone involved– Navalny’s team, hotel staff, etc. – needs to be interviewed; the bottle’s origin traced; the room and hotel swabbed and analyzed; the exact chemical composition of the poison publicly identified. And so on.

This requires both the Germans and the Russians to stop treating this as a political football and instead work together to find answers. This, of course, is almost certainly not going to happen. As a result, attitudes on both sides of the political divide are likely to harden. In the West, nearly everyone will take it as granted that an attempt was made to murder Navalny using a Novichok-laced water bottle. And in Russia, nearly everybody will point to the problems with the water bottle thesis and conclude that the story is total hokum.

As for me, I don’t know what to make of it. But what’s for sure is that the episode is yet another nail in the coffin of Russian-Western relations. Somehow or other, it all keeps getting worse.

65 thoughts on “Cups of tea and bottles of water”

  1. “Now we’re told that the poison was in a bottle of water…”

    A small nitpick, if I may. According to this:
    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/navalnys-team-releases-evidence-novichok-poisoning
    (and I believe I’ve seen the same wording before),
    “Two weeks later, a German laboratory found traces of Novichok precisely on the bottle of water from the Tomsk hotel room,” the post said.

    On the bottle, Paul, not inside the bottle. So, you need to fantasize how the stuff could get on the bottle, but, presumably, onto no any other item in the room.

    You see, the G.R.U agents didn’t have to replace the bottle. They just touched it with a cotton swab soaked in Novichok. And stuck a label on it: “for Alexei Anatolievich only!”. Or “This is MY bottle! Keep your hand off it! Alexei.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This cotton swab theory doesn’t make much sense to me. First, this may well be mistranslation. Secondly, and most importantly, this would mean that Navalny would die immediately. The poison inside the bottle makes more sense – the poison could be inside a tiny granule that would delay the absorption of the poison into the organism and delay the death.

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    2. If, on the other hand, the poison was found on the bottle, not inside it, to me this shows that the whole story is a bogus and the bottle was touched by poison not in Russia.

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  2. “Second, the Russian government needs to show a much greater enthusiasm in investigating (at present, the authorities have just carried out what they call a ‘pre-investigation’, which appears to be less than thorough).”
    To investigate what? A couple of bottles of water mysteriously showing up in Germany, no “chain of custody” how the bottles were retrieved and where from – I saw the video, why should anyone assume the room was that Navalny occupied? an some amateur sleuths grabbing some bottles one of those showing up in Mrs. Navalnay’s handbag on the way to somewhere? What the fuck are we, to put it politely, talking about. There is no there there, conjectures, unsubstantiated allegations, evidence less propaganda by the west.

    And to top it off, the accusation that Russia is still developing Novichoskies because what the Krauts found was apparently unknown before – some very serious allegations. And that oh so deadly crap AGAIN failed to kill whom it should have, and this oh so fast acting agent somehow mysteriously caused Mr. Navalny to collapse hours after leaving the Hotel, the bottles obviously left behind.
    If they really want to make this Novichokian scenario plausible, they at least have to have it act according to specs.

    That whole story is such a dead red herring it stinks through the Reichs…ah, Bundestag and actually overpowers Ms. Merkels perfume.
    And then to hear that idiot Ms. van der Leyen, a nut job that wasn’t effective as Defense minister and now continues her said demise in the EU spouting invectives.

    He is spot on: http://johnhelmer.net/the-pevchikh-plot-navalny-bottle-london-witness-flee-the-scene-of-the-crime-berlin-too/

    Liked by 3 people

  3. “As for me, I don’t know what to make of it.”
    And I thought that was easy to to discern, when the USA had it made abundantly clear to stop the Nordstream 2 line at ANY cost.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, for the love of Christ, even a 1-celled organism without a functioning mitochondria, can grasp that this story is preposterous! Which is why the Germans keep changing it from day to day, and I can imagine they are so embarrassed that they have to participate in this charade.

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  5. “As I said before, the Russians need to take this rather more seriously.”

    Lol – nope!

    Only totally brainless/thoroughly bought over still believe Navalny was poisoned. Hell, shaurma sold at a dodgy fast-food stall near trainstation is more dangerous than this allegedly “combat nerve agent”!

    “But what’s for sure is that the episode is yet another nail in the coffin of Russian-Western relations. “

    Good, goooooood (c)

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  6. >Everyone involved– Navalny’s team, hotel staff, etc. – needs to be interviewed

    some of them left Russia immediately and are now in Germany and elsewhere, so how do you do that when none of the Western countries are cooperating?

    The bottle thing is meaningless because there is no chain of custody for it.

    The whole setup is betrayed by the fact that the Germans don’t cooperate at all – exactly like it was with the Brits & Skripals.

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    1. Igor, (German) babbling alert:
      some of them left Russia immediately and are now in Germany and elsewhere, so how do you do that when none of the Western countries are cooperating?

      The bottle thing is meaningless because there is no chain of custody for it.

      How should ‘chain of custody’ work on a nation to nation cum, whatever that is, national interest level? Not least, if “chain of custody” (or preservation of relevant evidence, special US case in mind here) does not even work on the national level? Could there be cases where national interest trumps “truth” on national levels too?
      *******
      Could there be something of an “interior national interest” involved concerning certain national (vs international) cases…
      ******
      That said, still on babbling mode:
      How to explain that the US right’s fears or suspicions of election manipulations somewhat mirror the fears or suspicions of the Russian ‘liberals’? Superficial considering suspect at least?

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      1. BS alert:
        chain of custody non existing means that some private persons took hold of evidence and removed it from a potential crime scene – so has first off nothing to do with “nations”, it is an internal Russian chain of custody that has been broken by the Nawalny’s hangers on.
        The further breaking of the chain occurs when a private unqualified person transports that evidence and this tainted evidence ir used to test as a sample without any knowledge who else the evidence came in contact with or who might have been tampering with it.
        So the bottles are totally useless because tainted evidence from the start.

        “How to explain that the US right’s fears or suspicions of election manipulation”

        In the US everyone “fears” election meddling behause that has been the Modus operandi by the US forever and day.
        So of course everyone there fears their methods might come back to bite them into their collective arses.
        No evidence of course, but suppositions, red herrings galore….

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      2. BS alert:
        chain of custody non existing means …So the bottles are totally useless because tainted evidence from the start.

        obviously meant to convince the already convinced that the Russian state including every single Russian cannot be trusted.

        But that wasn’t my point. Consider me a skeptic concerning the offical narratives concerning Litvinenko and the Skripals too.

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  7. If you are accused of something professor

    You would expect to see the evidence before you respond

    If there is no evidence presented

    No response should be given

    This case however is a hoax – Germany showing themselves to be big liars like the UK.

    PS. On a trivial note has anyone noticed that Navalny managed to dye his hair a nice shade of brown.

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    1. I had not noticed that Navalny died his hair. He used to be rather blondish. At his age I imagine that he is going grey. I reckon he had to make a strategic decision whether or not to remain young and beautiful for his close-up.

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  8. “As for me, I don’t know what to make of it. But what’s for sure is that the episode is yet another nail in the coffin of Russian-Western relations. Somehow or other, it all keeps getting worse.”

    That final sentence is a doozy (“Somehow or other…”). And a whimper of a conclusion.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. > Personally, I have no reason to doubt that a German laboratory found, as it claimed, a chemical of the Novichok-type in the bottle in question.

    I do! In fact, I don’t see a reason to *believe* that a German laboratory found Novichok on the bottle, unless it was planted on it in the very same laboratory beforehand. The lack of any protective measures in collecting and transporting it tells that much.

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  10. http://johnhelmer.net/a-tale-of-two-bottles-navalny-poison-slowest-acting-weapon-in-assassination-history/#more-34388

    “In the version of the film which the Murdoch press has published in London, along with a commentary by Dominic Raab, the British Foreign Secretary, the bare feet, shaven legs, and yellow slip of one woman, and the voice of another woman, have been removed.

    Woman 1: “While you don’t have an official permission, I can’t give you anything.”
    Woman 2: “We don’t need a permission to take the empty bottles.”
    Woman 1: “If you want to take any bottles, you need the permission of the police.”

    This dramatic dialogue reveals that the blue-capped Saint Springs water bottle shown in the film – actually, three bottles are recorded, two on one side of the bed, one on the other side; all of them empty – were not allowed out of the Tomsk hotel room on police orders…..The reference by the hotel employee to the police orders indicates that the time at which the bottles appear on film – 11:45 AM Tomsk time — was about six hours after Navalny had left the room — if it was his hotel room, not Pevchikh’s”

    Curios and curioser……

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  11. And all the while one needs to keep reminding oneself of that leaked (by Lukashenko) phone conversation between 2 American spies, “Nick” and “Mike” in their chat regarding the Navalny fake-poisoning:

    “There is a war going on, and all methods are acceptable.”

    Sure, Nick & Mike, but next time come up with something less ridiculous, if you please.

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  12. On the history of claims and counter-claims about ‘Novichoks’, a very valuable resource is a piece just posted on the site of the ‘Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media’ by one of its members, entitled ‘The Novichoks story: chemical weapons programme or canary trap?’ by one of its members, Paul McKeigue, who is Professor of Statistical Genetics at Edinburgh University.

    (See http://syriapropagandamedia.org/the-novichoks-story-chemical-weapons-programme-or-canary-trap .)

    One also needs to read the two pieces from ‘Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ in September 2000 to which McKeigue links – Michael Flynn’s ‘Playing With Fire’ and Raymond L. Garthoff’s ‘Polyakov’s Run.’

    (See https://journals.sagepub.com/toc/bosb/56/5 .)

    The argument that Garthoff – one of the pre-eminent Western experts on the history of Soviet military strategy – was making was that ‘Operation Shocker’, a deception by the U.S. Army and the F.B.I. designed to bluff the Soviets by pretending the West had made major CW breakthroughs, so they would waste resources, ended up leading to the targets making genuine breakthroughs.

    Actually, in the light of the evidence McKeigue assembles, it seems probable that the Soviets realised that ‘Operation Shocker’ was a deception rather earlier than the 1985 date Garthoff gives.

    Also, with hindsight wisdom, it seems likely that a good deal of the supposed successes reported on by Ken Alibek and Vil Mirzayanov, whose claims the article accepts, were bogus.

    What then seems to have happened was that responses to the original U.S. deception operation continued, for a range of reasons, including, early on, the fact that Mirzayanov, who is a Tatar nationalist, was suspected of being a conduit to Western intelligence, and later, the perceived need to disguise acute Soviet military weakness in the early ‘Nineties.

    Where I disagree with McKeigue and his colleagues is that they still appear to be prepared to assume that, as they argued in an earlier paper, the evidence is adequate to sustain confidence that something that could be called ‘Novichok’ – A-234 – was actually ingested by Sergei and Yulia Skripal when they were taken ill in Salisbury on 4 March 2018.

    It did not seem to me at the time that the evidence was unambiguous enough simply to discount the possibility that the samples had been ‘doctored’ subsequently, and nothing that I have seen subsequently has changed my view on this.

    This is rather relevant, in relation to Navalny. Again, it seems reasonably clear that there are test results, showing something that can be called ‘Novichok.’ It remains however an open question whether this was present when Navalny was taken ill, or whether the results are the product of the ‘doctoring’ of samples.

    It is not immediately obvious to me how the failure of the Russian doctors to pick up ‘Novichok’ can be explained by an absence of a sample for comparison.

    Although in general I sympathise with those who argue that accusations presented without evidence do not warrant investigation, it does seem to me that there is a case for the Russian authorities to produce the detailed results of the tests that were carried out. They might give further force to the suggestion that the results of the German tests should be put in the public domain.

    What is also required, of course, is evidence from the tests about the quantity of ‘Novichok’ which Navalny supposedly ingested.

    Although I think this not very likely, a possibility that had occurred to me was that the substance could have been present in the samples tested in Russia, but in quantities too low to be picked up unless one was looking for it with the extraordinarily sensitive specialist equipment now available.

    If that was the case, however, it would be obviously be a strong argument in favour of a ‘false flag.’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “it does seem to me that there is a case for the Russian authorities to produce the detailed results of the tests that were carried out. They might give further force to the suggestion that the results of the German tests should be put in the public domain.’
      I take it your attention has been directed at something else.
      Russia has asked since the test results from the Charité regarding the presence of cholinesterase inhibiters and the following tests of the Bundeswehr Lab that found evidence (on the bottles that evaded chain of custody?) Russia has asked repeatedly for the tests being send and was willing to share all information from their tests with them.
      Instead Russia got the runaround, from Germany as well as the tainted (since Douma and before) OPCW.

      What kicks this whole story to the curb – and I do not know why this does not seem to register – is the fact that this so deadly and so immediately acting “New and advanced ” Novichok worked several hours after Navalny was supposed to have it imbibed. That is the same nonsense that should have kicked the whole Scripal story to the curb as well were the couple daughter and da happily enjoyed a meal and some quality time on a park bench after supposedly having touched (both) the door handle leaving their home… .

      Anyone who can muster the mental strength to actually believe the official published story is a candidate to the papacy…or is able to believe five or six impossible things simultaneously before breakfast…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. PS – the Saker brings it to a point:
        http://thesaker.is/russians-are-the-dumbest-most-incompetent-idiots-on-the-planet/
        “Russians are dumb. Hopelessly stupid. They are amateurs of the worst kind. Ignoramuses on steroids. Why?

        Well, for one, their so-called super-dooper biowarfare agent “Novichok” seems unable to kill anybody. The Russians must have realized that. This is why, when they tried to kill Skripal (after freeing him from jail) they put that Novichok thing all over the place: on the bench near Salisbury, on Skripal’s door handle, even in some bottle of perfume a local addict found in the trash. Probably all over the Skripal home, and this is why the Brits initially said that they would tear down the extremely toxic place (yet both the Skripal cat and their hamster survived – tells you how utterly useless that pretend biowarfare substance really was…).

        One would have thought that after this total cluster-bleep the Russians would have learned their lesson.

        But no. They are clearly too dumb for that.

        So they decided to poison Alexei Navalnyi, a well-know “dissident”.

        And they failed.”

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Just because the maid said that they couldn’t take the bottle doesn’t mean that they didn’t. But Helmer is right that the evidence from the bottle would not stand up in court due to lack of provable chain of custody.

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  13. Equally obviously, this isn’t a very good way of convincing outsiders of their innocence.

    Not sure there’s much of a point to this if there ever was in the first place.

    Domestically, this affair has shattered Navalny’s reputation as a “man of the people” character, because no normal Russian would have been rushed off to one of the top hospitals in all of Europe for poisoning. This is a card now there for the kremlins to play.

    If the Euros now introduce “Navalny Sanctions” then that will be a further nail in his political coffin. Yo come vote for sanctions man.

    So arguably it has turned out quite well for the kremlins anyway.

    Though one feels somewhat sorry since for once he has had no say in either developments (decision to go to Germany was made by his wife, sanctions will obviously be decided upon by European politicians).

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    1. For sure, the EU couldn’t do anything more designed to harm Navalny than to name sanctions after him. No doubt it will realize this, though one can never rule out gross stupidity.

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    2. And did Navalny have a ‘man of the people’ image, anyway? His daughter goes to Stanford!! (Nothing wrong with that, but not really an ordinary guy sort of thing).

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      1. I don’t think Navalny had a “man of the people” image at all. But one nuance is that he is, and always has been, a Russian Nationalist, a Greater Russian chauvinist, with ties to the extreme right (Nazi-Lites), which he somehow managed to juggle with his neo-Liberal constituency.

        And I’m not saying that as a term of rebuke, or insult, it’s literally the truth, one can find that in Navalny’s past statements and political programs. I don’t know if this youtube will link properly, but does anyone remember his video, in which he compared Caucasians to cockroaches? That’s just classic Greater-Russian chauvinism as a political platform.

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    3. *Very* arguably. Navalny hasn’t been a big issue anyway; on the other hand, NS2 cancellation (and/or other sanctions) can very well be.

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      1. This is one thing I can’t understand. How can they cancel this huge project when it’s almost finished?

        Billions of Euro spent, … wait, forget the Euros: labor, resources, materials, and then puff — and then it’s all cancelled, left to rust? That would be, it seems, not only a financial disaster but perhaps even something like a crime against humanity…

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  14. It looks more and more embarrassing for the Germans. Bundesweir attempt to stop Nordstream 2? there are hardcore Russophobic elements within the EU maybe this little charade was their attempt after failure of Belarus regime change op? The Germans refer to OPCW the Russians contact OPCW for information and are then referred back to the Germans. It’s a complete pisstake frankly, massive incompetence, its no wonder the RF isn’t taking it seriously. You need to realise Paul that the Russians are done chasing the West, trying to please or placate, that boat has sailed, so why waste time and energy with the silly games. The press in europe (and the UK) are in all but name run by the state, no such thing as a free press, so it no longer matters what Russia does or doesn’t, the story will be the same. The interesting missing link is the Pevchick woman, domiciled in the UK, history of ‘NGO’ work, expensive flat beyond her resources. Maybe MI6 have cooked up another batch of novichok and duped the Germans with this femme fatale? Helmer is knocking out decent theories but in all likelihood that’s all we’re going to get, there isn’t a smoking gun and unlikely to be one. My first assumption was straightforward extraction operation involving Navalny and his team (there is ZERO proof it was novichok) he is useless in Russia as an asset now and prevented from travelling, so only way to get him.out was something like this. He’s more value as a propaganda asset in the West much like the other clowns, Browder et al. They can all become the resident wailers in chief on the dollar spread liberally across Europe. He might even get a free trip to congress!
    Didnt Van Der Loyden turn out to be a Russian hater though, she’s dropped that mask and we get to see the real face complete with dollar signs in her eyes. No one foresaw that when she scraped through her election.That sets the EU on collision course with the Germans who see trade with Russia (and energy security) as a big part of the future.Definite lines being drawn in the sand here, although it just gives the impression of an EU that can’t agree on anything which the US will use for leverage. Interesting, but I fear entirely predictable, times ahead!

    Ps. Interesting interview with Lavrov this week. He doesn’t seem to care that much either

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great comment, Gerald! I also go, tentatively, on the “extraction” theory. Especially if they manage to get the wife and son out of Russia as well. (They’re working on that.)

      As counter-evidence to that theory, Navalny himself has stated (or is reported to have stated) that he wants to return to Russia. But that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. The very last time anybody saw the Skripal daughter on video, she was also saying she wanted to go back. But never did, and nobody ever saw her again.

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      1. “The very last time anybody saw the Skripal daughter on video, she was also saying she wanted to go back.”

        Why would the Brits send her back just to expose the Fantasy Produktion: The Novichockian Ecstasies of Mrs. May?

        They are obviously held without their consent and the likely scenario from the beginning was to stop Mr. Skcripal from returning to the RF after having learned much about the inner workings of the UK agencies.

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  15. Meanwhile, in this photograph of Navalny as he recovers in the German clinic , bloggers have drawn attention to the fact that he does not have a tracheostomy scar on his neck.

    Recall that when the Skripal daughter appeared on video, she was sporting a prominent scar on her neck. Supposedly, if one is poisoned with chemical weapons, then one would require a tracheostomy and ventilator.
    Oh well, it’s all just conspiracy theories, anyhow. One thing I noticed, though, is that while Navalny is correctly wearing gloves, he is not wearing a face-mask. So ding him as Covid NON-COMPLIANT!

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    1. He’s also not in a wheelchair for someone just out of a coma and does not have a nurse with him. What hospital would allow a patient just out of IC to walk the stairs by himself in what looks like the fire escape stairwell that takes him all the way out of the building and into the open air and public contact?

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  16. There is a lot of innuendo here that the lack of a ‘thorough investigation’ by the Russian authorities incriminates the Kremlin & Co.

    This is based on inaccurate representation of how the Russian legal system works.

    The term ‘pre-investigation inquiry’ is misleading as it tends to suggest that this is something superficial. It is also implied that this is totally up to the authorities and no one but they control the process. Both claims are false.

    During a ‘pre-investigation inquiry’ the law enforcement agencies do essentially the same acts as during the ‘thorough investigation’, including collecting evidence, carrying out forensic examinations and so on.

    Russian authorities did collect available evidence and carried out dozens of tests (https://xn--90antjiff.xn--b1aew.xn--p1ai/news/item/20975789/). Some leaked to the press: https://meduza.io/en/feature/2020/09/04/highly-toxic-but-unreliable.

    More importantly, the decision by the Tomsk police not to open a ‘full scale’ investigation can be appealed to the prosecutor’s office. This is a standard procedure in Russia. You don’t even need a lawyer to do it.

    What we are seeing is a lot of media buzz that is not supported by pretty straightforward legal procedures.

    We should base our judgement on deeds not words.

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  17. Hm.. This piece is from a couple of weeks ago, but I only just now saw it.
    The theory here, as offered by Alexander Sabaev, the chief toxicologist of Omsk, is that Navalny’s presenting problem was actually brought about by a weird diet that he was on, while trying to lose weight.

    Sabaev claims to have access to Navalny’s lab results. Putting aside for now the issue how unprofessional it is for a doctor to violate a patient’s privacy by discussing his lab results in a public internet forum, but what the hell, Navalny’s body belongs to the world now:

    Sabaev claims that Navalny’s worsening condition must have started a few days before his actual presenting episode. Navalny was a chronic dieter and desperate to regain his youthful appearance.

    Lab results showed a high level of blood sugar, high levels of diastatis (whatever that is) in his urine; high level of amylase in his blood serum; high level of lactic acid. These parameters have nothing to do with Novichok, and everything to do with some kind of metabolic or digestive disorder, most likely brought on by eating or drinking some weird sh*t from one of those fad diets.

    Just another conspiracy theory, of course, but it raises the question, and most people don’t even think of that possibility; of a person’s vanity as a factor, especially in a man. But it is something doctors should always take into account when examining a patient with bizarre symptoms. It’s like that whole horse/zebra thing, is it a zebra? or is it just a horse.

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  18. Navalny posting on Instagram just looks like a real charlatan.

    This whole fake false flag was meant to get people ok the streets and destabilise Russia at the same time as Belarus.

    For some reason it didn’t work and I expect the EU will loose interest in the Navalny saga.

    In the UK it did not interest many people like the Skripal saga did. Covid19 still dominates the news

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  19. The bottle problem has a very simple explanation. The perpetrator poisoned an object only Navalny was supposed to touch, some personal item… Novichok on the bottle came from poisoned Navalny. This explains why it was not dangerous for his team to collect the bottles and why no one else suffered.

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    1. “The perpetrator poisoned an object only Navalny was supposed to touch, some personal item… Novichok on the bottle came from poisoned Navalny.”

      Your logic is impeccable…the poison came from Navalny after he touched a bottle that was poisoned so he could transfer the poison to the bottle…. Yes, makes as much sense as the whole story so far….

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      1. You should have said: “Your logic is impeccable, Mr. Spock!” haha
        Anyhow, Mr. Spock (or perhaps Sherlock Holmes) might also conclude, from the evidence available, that the poisoner (or main suspect) is that Maria Pevchik person.
        Her motive would be: She was hired to incite an international incident by poisoning Navalny (?)
        She was travelling with Navalny, she had the means, motive and opportunity to smear something on one of his personal items. And she was the only person the Germans allowed to accompany Mr. Navalny on the plane out of Omsk. Not even Navalny’s wife was allowed.

        This piece goes into the Pevchik theory in more detail.

        Like

    2. I did not say who poisoned Navalny, nor did I say that he was poisoned at all. All I said was that Novichok on the bottle doesn’t disprove the theory that he was indeed poisoned in Russia.

      If he touched the bottle after he was poisoned he could leave tiny traces of Novichok on the bottle. In a similar way, if you put very little of cream on your palms, even a drop or two, traces of the cream could be discovered on the objects you touched.

      It also explains why the Navalny team were not poisoned while collecting the items, the amount of Novichok on the botte was very small.

      Like

      1. “Nord Stream 2 should not be stopped regardless of whether Navalny was poisoned by the Russians.”

        Honestly – If it were not be the case of maintaining diversity of markets, had I any say in this (which I luckily don’t have) I would stop the pipeline, refund the Russian contractors and direct the attention to the Chinese and Asian market, where there are already plans to extend the pipelines from China to Vietnam and maybe other nations.

        Let the EU get their fracked gas from the US and pay dearly, and when that runs out within the next 10 – 20 years because either finally the investors get wise to the fact there is no RoI or the most productive wells finally run dry (production notoriously on shale oil lasts for 3 years and drops sharply after that) and the wells in less productive fields are too expensive and of even shorter lifetime.
        As Nuland said: fuck the EU, and fuck Germany if they cannot find the will to stand up to the greatest Bully Nation that ever existed (beside the third and second Roman and British empire)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. As Nuland said: fuck the EU

        Ironically, and if I’m not mistaken, Nuland said this in response to the EU standing up to said Bully Nation to some degree (I think you can elaborate on that, thanks in advance).

        Like

  20. On a slightly different note, many here seem to be missing the main point: Nord Stream 2 should not be stopped regardless of whether Navalny was poisoned by the Russians. This is where discussion should focus and everything else is a distraction.

    Essentially, what Russia seems to be arguing is that Navalny was not poisoned or if he was indeed poisoned it was a false flag operation. This is going to be a complete failure. Why don’t they see this?

    What they should be arguing is that Europe-Russia trade cooperation is too important for Europe and, by extension, for the whole world. We tend to believe that stronger trade links make military conflicts less likely, at least this was the main idea for the EU itself. Europe has been working on this for centuries and paid dearly to come close to where we are now.

    This process is above Navalny, above Putin, above Merkel.

    After all, every nation is not without a sin. As a result of illegal invasion by the UK and the USA, at least one million people died, many countries were destroyed, several generations of people in Middle East will not see decent life.

    Against this background, all these talks about cancelling Nord Stream 2 are utterly ridiculous and dishonest. That is the material point.

    Like

    1. But people who believe the Navalny “poisoning” whether real or fake is just a false-flag on the part of the West, also tend to believe that the whole point of this operation was to provide the ideological rationale for STOPPING North Stream pipeline. It was either that, or just blow the damn thing up. They just really don’t want this pipe and they were getting a bit desperate, as it approached completion!

      Like

      1. “They just really don’t want this pipe and they were getting a bit desperate, as it approached completion!”

        https://consortiumnews.com/2020/09/22/patrick-lawrence-mike-pompeos-cold-war-fever/

        “Friedman puts the Nord Stream 2 question in the context of Washington’s longtime anxiety about a lasting rapprochement between Germany and Russia. “A Russian–German entente,” Friedman said, “would dominate Europe, end the rationale for NATO, and achieve the exact outcome that the U.S. wanted to prevent in both World War II and the Cold War.”

        An entente between Germany and Russia would link Germany to Eurasia – the nightmare of any US hegemonic politic. A larger Eurasia also including the EU (maybe the Poles in their wisdom would like to say outside and join the USA as state No. whatever) would deny the US ny future dominance in geopolitics,.

        Like

      2. Yup, I’m pretty sure that’s what this thing is all about.
        Meanwhile, I saw this piece yesterday .

        The photos here show Navalny reunited with his entire family (wife, son, daughter) in his hospital room in Germany. Could chalk this up as a successful “extraction”, if that’s what it is.

        The thrust of the piece is to raise all the niggling little questions and inconsistencies about the alleged “poisoning”. In various photos (in this and other news pieces) Navalny has been showing off his slim new body. Perhaps inadvertently drawing attention to the fact that he bears no scars of intubation or a central line catheter. This particular blogger says it is not conceivable that Navalny could have been in a coma without some kind of central feeding line placed in his neck or belly. Well, we can’t really see his belly, but there are certainly no scars on his neck. Also, as I understand it, feeding can also be delivered through the nose – ugh! (sorry, I’m squeamish, almost fainted just typing that…)

        Like

      3. Here’s a piece (machine-translated from Russian) from Ekonomiya Segodnya by Alexander Sosnovsky:

        “The journalist who visited Charite showed signs of absence of Navalny” (22 September 2020)

        “Alexey Navalny is not in the Charite clinic in Berlin. This conclusion was reached by the journalist Alexander Sosnovsky, who visited it.

        According to the journalist, the photo of Navalny with his wife on the balcony makes you think about his whereabouts. Sosnowski, who is familiar with Berlin’s architecture, drew attention to the strange urban landscape in the corner of the picture. He pointed out that there are no balconies with a similar view in the Charite building, as it is located in central Berlin with a completely different architecture.

        To confirm his words in practice, Sosnovsky personally went to [Charite] and went around the building with a camera. He drew attention to the construction work near the clinic (it would surely have been on the blogger’s photo), as well as the complete absence of journalists and security. All this confirmed Sosnovsky’s suspicions about the lack of Navalny in [Charite].

        In addition to the cityscape, the journalist had questions for the bank with cigarette butts on the balcony of the Navalny. Sosnowski called it impossible to have such an object in an elite medical institution in Germany with patients of this level. If all the cigarettes caught in the frame smoked the Navalny, it raises even more questions to his “diagnosis” and the conclusions of German doctors.

        The journalist notes that all the footage from the Navalny after his coma are static and “inanimate”. Sosnowski, a person with a medical background and a practicing doctor, calls this understandable, pointing to the ability to identify signs of specific diseases and effects by movement, speech and other dynamic manifestations. For example, after a tracheostomy (artificial respiratory throat) a person often has problems with the voice.

        “Any video and audio makes it very likely to calculate where and how it was made. In the photo it is much more complicated. And if we hide the opportunity to locate and diagnose, it is very revealing,” Sosnovsky said on Solovyov Live.

        Earlier, Navalny demanded that Russia return his clothes,in which the blogger was hospitalized in Omsk. However, the associates of the Navalny previously wrote that all his belongings were handed over to his wife, and some of the items, which were touched and used by the blogger, could be taken out by the suspect in his poisoning Maria Pevchik.

        The date of the article is significant because the day after (23 September), Navalny was discharged from hospital.

        Like

      4. To Jen: Very nice… the plot thickens…

        That’s actually not bad for machine translation, by the way. It gets better all the time. Loved this bit, though:
        “If all the cigarettes caught in the frame smoked the Navalny, it raises even more questions to his “diagnosis” and the conclusions of German doctors.”

        It certainly does raise questions.
        As comedian Jakov Smirnov used to say: “In America man smokes cigarette. In Russia, cigarette smokes man…” – LOL

        Like

      5. An entente between Germany and Russia would link Germany to Eurasia – the nightmare of any US hegemonic politic. A larger Eurasia also including the EU (maybe the Poles in their wisdom would like to say outside and join the USA as state No. whatever) would deny the US ny future dominance in geopolitics,.

        It would also be the nightmare of British imperialists as well. Britain has attempted to prevent an alliance between Germany and Russia since the days of Otto von Bismarck (who IIRC proposed the idea), as this would threaten the British monopoly on trade. There was also something about a Berlin-Baghdad railway that Britain tried to sabotage (I would be grateful for further info on that).

        Britain’s traditional foreign policy was to keep the continent weak and divided. NATO appears to be a continuation of said policy: “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down”.

        Like

  21. @joey_n
    (I think you can elaborate on that, thanks in advance).
    The Eu had an agreement during the Maidan demos (and the curious case of the shootings of police and demonstrators by “unknown” that helped to escalate the violence) to hold new elections sometimes in 2014 while he kept his presidency in the meantime.
    The US had other ideas with investing 5 billion dollars to topple the government and replace it with “our man Yats”. Mrs. Nuland after hearing of the EU deal in a phone conversation with Ambassador Pyatt was heard to utter the words “fuck the EU”.

    Like

    1. Exactly! EU was being namby-pamby, as the Brits say. Like the dog chasing the car, catching it, and then unsure what to do with it.

      Americans lack such caution.
      Which is why Nuland exploded at them over the phone, her message basically was: “Screw the EU. We worked for this prize, and we want it NOW!” Simply too impatient to go through yet another round of rigged elections before adding this colony to their utility belt.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Regarding my comment about Russia better think just abandoning NS2 – it seems I am not alone:
    “Russia now views Europe as a secondary energy market and Lavrov’s statements today are pretty explicit in terms of saying to Europe to go and fvck itself. Russia today can afford that. In fact, come to think about it, US devouring EU plays into Russia’s hands. Many in the West still cannot grasp a simple fact that pipelines such as NS2 are not crucial for Russia anymore. They are, however, crucial to Europe, but EU is on a straight path to economic suicide and one does not negotiate with a patient of asylum………………….
    it all comes down to Russia having enough wherewithal to abandon EU to the US, which will make sure that it is not competitive with its suicidal energy policies. But we don’t see the whole game yet, what is clear is that some new chapter is being written in Russia. Germany should prepare now for giving some explanations about Navalny and those better be a really damn good ones, which Russia knows with absolute guarantee Germany doesn’t have.”
    http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2020/09/lavrov-verbatim.html

    Like

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