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Navalny: Berlin doctors found traces of poisoning

Doctors at the Berlin clinic Charite said that the research results indicate that Alexey Navalny was poisoned. The specific substance has not yet been established. The Russian oppositionist, who has been in a coma since Thursday, was taken by plane from an Omsk hospital to Berlin on Sunday. According to observers, there is no doubt who is behind the poisoning.

In the dock — the Russian state

All indications are that Russian special services are behind the poisoning, says the Neue Zurcher Zeitung:

“The substances that were found by the doctors of the Charite Clinic together with other independent research institutes and which, according to experts, caused Navalny's current condition, do not enter the human body 'by accident'. In fact, we are talking about chemical weapons. To produce and purposefully use it, in addition to criminal intentions, you need solid knowledge in the field of the latest chemical developments, a well-honed organization, and a developed infrastructure. These are the prerequisites that, with few exceptions, only the special services have. ... The analysis results published on Monday clearly indicate that only the Russian state itself can be considered as the accused.“

Oil on the fire of German-Russian relations

Relations between Germany and Russia continue to deteriorate, writes Tonya Mastrobuoni, Berlin correspondent for La Repubblica:

“In recent months, there have been two more incidents that have only exacerbated tensions in relations between Moscow and Berlin. German investigators who were involved in the murder of a Chechen-Georgian dissident in Berlin in the summer of 2019, as well as a massive cyberattack on the Bundestag in 2015, concluded that in both cases, suspect number one in the Russian special services. In both cases, the Merkel government reacted only after the court's decision — the expulsion of Russian diplomats and the threat of pan-European sanctions. In the case of Navalny, however, Berlin expressed its position immediately.“

The opposition received a warning signal

Savon Sanomat offers its own version of the rationale behind the poisoning:

“It is striking that Navalny's poisoning coincided with the events in Belarus. An attempt to silence Navalny can be easily seen as a preventive measure designed to demonstrate to citizens that a popular uprising, as in Belarus, will not be tolerated in Russia. Putin's Russia is not the USSR, and criticism of the Kremlin is permissible as long as it does not undermine the foundation of power. Throughout its long history, Russia has not made a single step towards democracy, which could give the opposition a real chance to influence at least something. Alas, murders, and attempted murders to repeat a bloody history of violence.“

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