Assange, Navalny, Magnitsky, Skripal, Lira: Political Arrests, Poisonings, and Deaths

SWPRS | 20 Feb 2024

When it comes to political arrests, poisonings, and deaths, not everything is as it seems.

Julian Assange (2010-2024)

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is seen as a fearless journalist by his supporters and as a “non-state hostile intelligence agent” by the US government. In 2010, Assange was ensnared by a CIA “honey trap” in Sweden, but contrary to widespread media claims, he was never charged with rape. Swedish prosecutors wanted to close the case but British officials pressured them not to do so. In an email later leaked on Wikileaks, a Stratfor analyst argued that “the Kremlin would have killed him.”

Fearing extradition to the US by Swedish or British authorities, Assange for seven years stayed in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. In 2016 Assange was accused of having published Clinton presidential campaign emails hacked by a Russian group, but the “Russian hacking” was a false-flag cyber operation run by US and Israeli intelligence. Meanwhile, a Spanish security firm working for American-Jewish casino mogul and major Trump sponsor, Sheldon Adelson, ran a spy operation on behalf of the CIA against Assange and his visitors at the embassy.

In April 2019, after the US pressured a new Ecuadorian government to end its diplomatic protection of the Wikileaks founder, Assange was arrested by British police and has since been held in solitary confinement at the Belmarsh high-security prison – in conditions a Swiss UN expert described as “torture”. In addition, the judge who oversaw Assange’s extradition case to the US is married to a former British defense minister with ties to individuals and firms previously exposed by Wikileaks.

This week, the British High Court will decide over Assange’s final appeal against extradition to the United States, where he may face lifelong imprisonment for espionage.

Image: In January 2018, a few weeks before his internet access was cut off, Assange shared the SPR chart depicting media ties to the US Council on Foreign Relations.

Assange tweet in January 2018 (archived)

Alexei Navalny (2020-2024)

Western media liked to describe Russian political activist Alexei Navalny as a “Russian opposition leader” while critics saw him as a CIA/NED asset chosen to lead a “color revolution” and regime change in Russia. In fact, Kremlin critic Navalny had less than 10% popular support in Russia.

In 2014 Navalny was convicted for embezzlement and received a suspended prison sentence. In August 2020, a mysterious “poisoning incident” occurred while Navalny was traveling with a female British operative. Navalny was flown to Germany where he later produced a fake video on “Putin’s palace”. He returned to Russia in January 2021, knowing that he would be arrested and imprisoned based on the previously suspended sentence – which is what happened.

Last week, Navalny died in a Russian prison, reportedly due to a stroke. On the very day of his death, Navalny’s wife held a speech at a NATO security conference in Munich. While Western media suggest Navalny may have been killed on behalf of Putin, a British or American operation seems more likely, given that to his Western sponsors, Navalny had become more useful as a martyr than as a political agent. A natural death or even a covid vaccine injury cannot be ruled out, either.

Video: Color Revolutions: The American Conquest of the East (Canal+, 2005)$/download/united-states-conquest-of-the-east-2005/6969e9f77891917635b19585ba7dbea0e4977fe8

Gonzalo Lira (2022-2024)

Chilean-American Youtube commentator Gonzalo Lira stayed in Ukraine during the 2022 Russian invasion and, despite the high risk, continued to criticize the Ukrainian government on social media. Lira was first detained in April 2022 and arrested in May 2023. He was released on bail, tried to flee the country but was caught and arrested again. In January 2024 he died of medical neglect and pneumonia while in a Ukrainian prison.

Although Gonzalo Lira’s case was highlighted by Twitter/X owner Elon Musk, the US government never asked Ukrainian authorities to release the US citizen, and US establishment media hardly covered the case at all. Several other Western journalists who have criticized the Ukrainian government have been placed on a Ukrainian “kill list” named Myrotvorets (“peacemaker”).

Image: US media coverage of Gonzalo Lira and Alexei Navalny (RT)

US media coverage of Gonzalo Lira vs. Alexei Navalny (RT)

Sergei Magnitsky (2009)

A case of much more international significance was the death of Sergei Magnitsky in a Russian prison back in 2009. Magnitsky was an accountant working for American-Jewish investor Bill Browder, Russia’s largest foreign investor during the 1990s. Browder claimed that corrupt Russian officials had used his financial firm for a $200 million tax fraud and that Magnitsky was arrested and killed by Russian authorities as a whistleblower.

Based on this story, Browder initiated the American Magnitsky Act, which in 2012 for the first time imposed sanctions on Russian officials. Yet evidence provided by Russian authorities suggested that the $200 million tax fraud was perpetrated by Browder himself, that Magnitsky was arrested not as a whistleblower but as an accomplice and witness, and that he was killed not by Russian prison guards but by an aluminum poison on behalf of Browder – as were three more of Browder’s accomplices.

A Russian filmmaker and famous Putin critic wanted to film Browder’s version of the story but started to realize that the story didn’t add up. His final documentary showed this surprising and explosive turn of events, yet the German production company no longer wanted to show the film; a screening at the European Parliament, on Press Freedom Day 2016, was canceled at short notice; an online version of the film was removed by Vimeo; and a book about the case was censored by Amazon.

Nevertheless, the film is available in the SPR Media Archive, both in English and in German.

Video: The Magnitsky Act – Behind the Scenes (Andrei Nekrasov, 2016)$/embed/@swprs:3/magnitsky-act-movie-2016:6?r=EGuC6hkStjCGBGPhURYt3jtmguYWkxnn

Sergei and Yulia Skripal (2018)

In March 2018, two weeks before the Russian presidential elections and three months before the FIFA World Cup in Russia, former British-Russian double-agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were allegedly poisoned in the English city of Salisbury.

British officials blamed Russian agents and the Soviet Novichok poison but could prove neither. Instead, the available evidence suggests a British false-flag operation or a staged deception. Indeed, the incident took place during an exercise run by the nearby Porton Down chemical warfare research facility, the Skripals were “discovered” by the chief nurse of the British Army, the entire operation was monitored by the notorious British military-intelligence “Integrity Initiative”, and a British intelligence officer in touch with Sergei Skripal was involved in the Russiagate deception.

As a result of the Skripal incident, Britain and other Western countries expelled Russian diplomats, and relations between NATO countries and Russia further deteriorated.

Video: Skripal Affair: The Magic of Novichok (Kollerstrom/Hall, 2019)$/embed/@swprs:3/skripal-novichok-kollerstrom-richplanet-2019:f?r=9J5AkHZRJN7heFLxyBcuAuQeFjB4YRZQ


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