The perfectly timed poisoning of unpopular, ineffective Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny and the involvement of Germany comes as Washington sought to place maximum pressure on Berlin to cancel the German-Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny – according to German doctors – was allegedly poisoned but is expected to survive. If Navalny was poisoned and the goal was to assassinate him, it was a poorly conceived, poorly executed, and most of all – poorly timed plan.
Navalny’s sudden reappearance across the Western media comes just at the height of US attempts to place maximum pressure on Germany to cancel a pipeline – Nord Stream 2 – it is jointly constructing with Russia. The pipeline would move Russian hydrocarbons into Western Europe directly, bypassing Ukraine now fully destabilized by US and NATO intervention.
Just last week German state media DW in an article titled, “US senators threaten Germany’s port town of Sassnitz over Nord Stream 2 gas project,” would highlight the nature of US pressure, reporting that:
Three US senators are threatening the ferry port on the island of Rügen with “crushing” sanctions to prevent the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Fearing financial ruin, the people of Sassnitz are defiant.
This latest threat from the US against their own German “allies” comes after a long, concerted campaign to pressure Germany into cancelling the joint pipeline with Russia.
Earlier this year, the New York Times in an article titled, “A Russian Gas Pipeline Increases Tension Between the U.S. and Europe,” would report:
…the State Department moved to potentially impose economic penalties on investors and other business participants in the project, an expansion of existing sanctions.The new measures were “a clear warning to companies” that “aiding and abetting Russia’s malign influence projects will not be tolerated,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters. “Get out now, or risk the consequences.”
The New York Times would note that growing US pressure faced condemnation from European leaders who accused Washington of interference in their sovereign affairs and specifically in regards to European energy policy.
The pipeline is already well over 90% completed.
Perfectly Timed Political Stunt
The New York Times in a more recent article titled, “Aleksei Navalny, Putin Critic in a Coma, Was Poisoned, German Doctors Say,” deliberately trumps up the incident.
Indeed Navalny is in a coma, but according to the German hospital currently treating him in an official statement, it was a medically induced coma. The statement read:
Since his admission at the weekend, Alexei Navalny has been receiving treatment at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. The patient is being treated in intensive care and remains in medically induced coma. While his condition is serious, it is not currently life-threatening.
The New York Times in its article notes how unpopular and ineffective Navalny has been as an opposition figure in Russia over the years, admitting that:
Mr. Navalny’s needling criticism of Mr. Putin has never posed a serious electoral threat to the Russian leader, and Mr. Putin remains popular with many Russians.
It should be noted that Navalny himself and the anemic opposition he leads is a product of the US State Department with virtually ever organization and individual in it the recipient of US government money channeled through Washington’s notorious regime change arm, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
Navalny’s US Backing
Navalny spearheads legal challenges on behalf of minority shareholders in large Russian companies, including Gazprom, Bank VTB, Sberbank, Rosneft, Transneft, and Surgutneftegaz, through the Union of Minority Shareholders. He has successfully forced companies to disclose more information to their shareholders and has sued individual managers at several major corporations for allegedly corrupt practices. Navalny is also co-founder of the Democratic Alternative movement and was vice-chairman of the Moscow branch of the political party YABLOKO. In 2010, he launched RosPil, a public project funded by unprecedented fundraising in Russia. In 2011, Navalny started RosYama, which combats fraud in the road construction sector.
The Democratic Alternative, also written DA!, is a US NED-fund recipient, implicating Navalny as an agent of US-funded sedition. The US State Department itself reveals this as they list DA! among many of the “youth movements” they support operating in Russia:
DA!: Mariya Gaydar, daughter of former Prime Minister Yegor Gaydar, leads DA! (Democratic Alternative). She is ardent in her promotion of democracy, but realistic about the obstacles she faces. Gaydar said that DA! is focused on non-partisan activities designed to raise political awareness. She has received funding from the National Endowment for Democracy, a fact she does not publicize for fear of appearing compromised by an American connection.
That this funding is nowhere on NED’s official website and is admittedly withheld from public knowledge by the funding’s recipients indicates that full disclosures are intentionally not being made and that clandestine US funding is most likely much more widespread across Russia’s “opposition” as well as for individuals like Navalny himself.
Navalny was involved directly in founding a movement funded by the US government and to this day has the very people who funded DA! defending him throughout the Western media.
The mention of co-founder Mariya Gaydar is also revealing, as she has long collaborated, and occasionally has been arrested with, Ilya Yashin, yet another leader of a NED-funded Russian “activist” opposition group.
Ilya Yashin leads the Moscow branch of the People’s Freedom Party and is a leading member of the “Strategy 31” campaign whose ranks are filled with activists trained and coordinated by US NED-funded NGOs. Deleted from the official NED.org website was Strategy 31’s US funding which read:
Moscow Group of Assistance in the Implementation of the Helsinki Accords $50,000
To draw greater attention to the issue of freedom of assembly in Russia and to the “Strategy 31” movement, which seeks to protect this fundamental right. The organization will train a network of regional activists and coordinate their activities through mini-seminars and field visits, and conduct an information campaign through press conferences, posters, and educational handouts pertaining to freedom of assembly, to be distributed to the general public by regional partners.
Also deleted was a NED “Democracy Digest” article titled “Strategy 31: A sign of civil society’s resilience.” In it, the “Moscow Helsinki Group” is explicitly stated as leading Strategy 31 marches and that the group is a “long-time grantee of the National Endowment of Democracy.”
Martyrdom to Boost a Fading Brand
It is documented fact that Navalny was funded by and specifically to serve US interests through the NED and a variety of other US-based programs and fellowships and clearly promoted throughout the entirety of the Western corporate media.
His inability to catalyze the sort of disruptive opposition the West seeks to create within Russia to undermine and eventually overthrow the nation’s current political order represents a poor return on investment.
Navalny’s fading brand is admitted openly even by his most eager supporters in the Western media – most recently in the above mentioned New York Times article describing his alleged poisoning.
German-Russian relations are particularly important for both nations at the moment – and perhaps more so for Moscow which seeks ways to circumvent full spectrum economic warfare waged against it by the United States.
The completion and use of Nord Stream 2 with its German partners would do much to cement Russian-European ties, perhaps even irreversibly short-circuiting US efforts to sabotage them.
The notion that the Kremlin would order Navalny’s assassination at this time defies common sense and logic.
The fact that a Western NGO with opaque funding called “ Cinema for Peace ” organized Navalny’s transportation out of Russia and to Germany specifically at this critical time for German-Russian relations – according to an article published by the US State Department’s Voice of America – the one European nation whose ties with Russia are under greatest scrutiny at the moment by the Western media – appears more than coincidental.
An investigation and forthcoming facts may help better shape the full truth around this most recent incident – but at the moment – especially for “activists” backed by a palpably desperate US – they must consider who would benefit most from their harm or demise – the nations they are ineffectively opposing, or the nations who have invested millions into their cause and have not gotten the results they desire.
Then these “activists” must determine whether they are worth more to their disappointed foreign sponsors as living, ineffective, and unpopular opposition figures, or worth more by being potentially impactful – if even for a moment – as martyrs.