The poisoning of Alexei Navalny

When Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned, I didn’t know what to think.  Not that I thought about it too deeply.

It seemed to me that if the Russian deep state had really wanted to kill him, they would have succeeded.  Also, I was hung up on the definition of “novichok.”  But most of all I didn’t pay attention because I was preoccupied with the lies of war hawks in the American deep state.

The video above shows detective work by Navalny, Maria Pevchikh and other Navalny supporters.  It proves that the Russian government was behind Navalny’s poisoning.  It is in Russian with English subtitles, and was released in June, 2021, but I only became aware of it a couple of days ago.  I’m posting it on my blog by I suspect most Americans aren’t aware of it either.

Navalny fell sick on an airplane flight from Tomsk to Moscow on August 20, 2020.  The plane was diverted to Omsk, where Navalny was rushed to a hospital for treatment.  After two days, he was transported to Berlin for medical treatment.

Hospital patients in Russia, as in most countries, have the right to see their medical records, but the Omsk hospital refused to release Navalny’s.  In November, two Navalny lawyers, Ivan Zhdanov and Vyacheslav Gimadi, bluffed their was into the Omsk records department and took unauthorized photographs of the records.

They indicated that a biochemical blood test showed that Navalny had a deficiency in cholinesterase, which is a neurotransmitter, and the presence of organophosphate agents, which are a cholinesterase inhibitor.  In other words, Navalny was poisoned with a nerve agent.

A month later, the Omsk hospital released what they said were Navalny’s medical records.  All references to cholinesterase and organophosphates had been scrubbed.

Poisoning by nerve agent was confirmed by physicians in Germany and by a Russian physician.  The German officials said it was a new type of nerve agent, deadly but slow-acting.  Navalny would be dead if the pilot hadn’t diverted the plane and his supporters hadn’t got him moved to Germany.

Navalny’s clothes were confiscated by the Omsk hospital and never returned.  Navalny tricked an FSB agent, Konstanin Kodryavstev, into confirming that his underpants were poisoned.  Impersonating an FSB official, Navalny phoned Kodryavstev and debriefed him on how he obtained Navalny’s clothes from the local police, carefully cleansed the underpants of any chemical agent and returned them.

The poison probably was added to Navalny’s underwear in his hotel room in Tomsk.  The room is under video surveillance, but no video footage of the room has been released.  There’s more evidence in the video, but you get the idea.

After having proved his government. had tried to murder him, Navalny returned to Russia in August, 2021.  To me, that was an incredibly brave thing to do.  He was promptly arrested, and is in prison now.

At the end of the video, Maria Pevchikh urged Russians to use “smart voting” against in the September 2021 elections to the Duma.  This was a strategy for the smaller parties to join forces to prevent Putin’s United Russia party from getting a majority.

It didn’t happen. The United Russia party got just under half the votes, but won 324 of the 450 seats in Russia’s parliament.

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The videos by Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation that I’ve seen are of interest not just because of their subject matter, but as prime examples of how investigative journalism should be done—meticulous research, ingenuity in uncovering secrets, and lively presentation.  If Maria Pevchikh were an American, she’d deserve a Pulitzer Prize many times over.

I am adding a couple more of the Foundation’s videos below because most Americans wouldn’t come across them.  They, too, are in Russian with English subtitles.

The following one, from September 2021, is about Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister.

The last one, from March 2017, is about Dmitry Medvedev, then prime minister of Russia.

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There are others on YouTube.

I still oppose U.S. war policy toward Russia.  Threatening war will not loosen Putin’s grip on Russia.  Actually going to war would be a catastrophe for both countries.

[1/26/2022.  I made some minor edits and additions.]

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