“The Sunday Times is to be read on a Sunday in a dressing gown,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the press on Monday. “You know, there is fake information, and there are other stories that can be summed up with the capacious English word – bulls**t. I’ll say no more.”
On Sunday, the London-based newspaper published a lengthy article suggesting that Navalny was poisoned on two occasions in August, once in his hotel room – allegedly via his underpants – and subsequently in a hospital in Omsk, while he was in a coma.
The allegations were vehemently denied by the region’s chief toxicologist, Alexander Sabaev, who was ultimately responsible for the treatment of the stricken Moscow protest leader. Sabaev called the story “fake news,” noting that nobody was allowed into Navalny’s ward.
The piece has been widely ridiculed, with even the usual anti-Russian voices staying remarkably quiet on the issue, while Western media reporters in Moscow have ignored the story almost entirely.
Notably, the Sunday Times’ own correspondent has not promoted the piece or even mentioned it on his usually busy Twitter feed.
The Sunday Times, known for being close to British spooks, cited anonymous Western intelligence officials as the source of its lengthy piece.
On August 20, Russian opposition figure Navalny fell ill on a flight from Tomsk to Moscow. After an emergency landing in Omsk, he was taken to the hospital and placed in a medically induced coma. After requests from his close associates, Navalny was flown to Berlin’s Charité Clinic for treatment. Over a week after his arrival in Germany, the country’s authorities announced that Navalny had been poisoned with Novichok. This claim has been denied by Russian doctors, who say that they did not find any trace of poison in his body. On September 23, Navalny was discharged from the hospital.
Header: BERLIN, GERMANY – AUGUST 22, 2020: Members of staff handle an isolation capsule outside the emergency department of the Charite hospital where Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny has been transferred from Russia’s Omsk Emergency Hospital No 1. Head of the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), Navalny felt bad aboard a passenger plane from Tomsk to Moscow on August 20, was brought to hospital in Omsk with poisoning symptoms and placed in an induced coma. Vyacheslav Filippov/TASS