As it usually happens, some unconditionally believed in this version, others did not, and still others had completely reasonable questions. It should also be noted that a more or less convincing refutation has not yet followed from the Kremlin.
For example, the pro-government political scientist Sergey Markov writes, and rather evasively:
“You can or may not believe materials about Navalny's poisoning by the FSB. For example, I don't believe. But different opinions are possible here. But according to the authors of the investigation, it is already quite clear that these are the British special services. And those who reject the authorship of the British intelligence services and those who pretend that it does not matter - these people are deliberately lying. Therefore, the question here is simple - do you believe the Russian or British special services? For example, I believe in Russians more than in British ones. Because the Russians are for Russia, and the British are against Russia. The Russians are for the Crimea, and the British are against the Crimea. Everyone now answers this question - which special services are more dear to him. Someone may think that this is not so important at all - true or not true. And in general, everyone has their own truth. And here it seems to me very important that there is a truth, not a lie. And this desire for the truth makes us repeat - the authors of the investigation are the British special services, which accuse the Russian president of being a murderer and terrorist. And I don't believe them..."
Political analyst Tatyana Stanovaya said that according to her information, only yesterday evening, the so-called "temnik" was given to journalists of state media about how they should "respond" to the Navalny investigation:
“I would pay attention to the comment of Sergei Markov, who is now more likely on his own, but still sincerely supports the regime. He is absolutely in line with the mainstream, speaking about the British intelligence services, but admits the credibility of the “fantastic” investigation. And he is obviously discouraged by the fact that there is a "black hole" in place of the Russian version of events. He does not understand why Russia takes such a losing position and does not try to present its adequate vision.
Markov's commentary is a very revealing example of the reflection of those who are for Putin. Not in the dark, but in the heart. Who believes in the attempts of the West to destroy and destabilize Russia, who is convinced that Navalny is a Western agent, and who, yesterday, was ready to believe anything but the version of “our” involvement. And yesterday's sincere "well, Putin could not have done this, because absurdity" today turns into meaningful silence..."
Analyst Sergey Mitrofanov rightly notes:
“No, objectively speaking, Peskov is, of course, right, we do not have the last proof (as well as the intermediate link in evolution between man and ape) that the FSB is sprinkling a newcomer on Navalny. But still, you must admit, it is rather strange and suspicious that a whole group of agents with a paramedic is dragged to and fro after him, lives with him in the next doorway and ends up on the same flights on airplanes. As if it raises some questions ... "
In this regard, the French blogger Alexander Green draws attention to some features of the investigation, which Navalny himself talks about in his blog:
“Firstly, it looks very strange in his opinion that so many participants were involved in this operation, but no leaks occurred contrary to the laws of psychology: “Any conspiracy involving a decent number of people can fail because of one woodpecker, which will not follow the instructions, will say "ta lana!" and will turn on the phone. We have already seen this with photos of Russian soldiers on VKontakte - photos from Donbass, while some are officially in the Rostov region on exercises. Now here is a new hero of the day - I am sincerely sorry for this man, for sure it will be difficult for him to fall asleep today. this is the main argument why I personally find it difficult to even imagine that the Americans did not fly to the moon, but filmed everything in Kubrick's pavilions. More precisely, you can believe it, it's hard to believe that no one has spilled the beans..."
Secondly, he draws attention to how far the methods of surveillance and information gathering have advanced in comparison with, say, the poisoning of the Skripals:
“If we only had British CCTV cameras and Russian / Ukrainian car recorders in our hands, then here we can use the intelligence service tracking bases kindly provided to us by corrupt officials. Base of passengers on any flight. Base of sold railway tickets. Registration base. Parking base. Mobile phone call base. Base of binding the phone to the cell (localization). Literally everything that spies dreamed of in films a couple of years ago.
In this regard, I seem to be starting to understand the protests of the principled opponents of giving the intelligence services surveillance capabilities. Because what used to be done on the sly only by the American NSA (spying on who called whom - even without the ability to listen in on the conversation), and then a huge Snowden scandal broke out; now many do the same officially, and in the case of the FSB, the results of their work are available on the Internet for a penny. It is clear that the special services of other countries may have a better reputation, but see paragraph 1 - sometimes one woodpecker is enough..."
The blogger believes that for all the resonance of this investigation, it was not completely correct:
“...Pure Zheglov. Which on the one hand caught an outright thief. On the other hand, he used openly unclean methods of struggle (investigation). I'm not only talking about stolen databases, I'm more about publishing names, surnames and photographs. That is, this is an extremely effective method - here it is best to remember the no less wonderful video "Come out for a walk", when his daughter looks at the presumptuous cop with disgust, and it will be difficult for him to live further. But this is exactly what the French law on the disclosure of personal information was just recently passed against, with the clear intention of causing harm to life and health. Well, the prosecution without trial and investigation. Yes, I understand that no trial and investigation can be expected in Russia (what have we got there with the poisoner Litvinenko? "Services to the Fatherland" and a deputy?) - but this was the argument of Zheglov, extremely unpleasant to me.
* Mentioning Putin and the head of the FSB not as a hypothetical customer and executor, but as proven ones. Even if this seems most likely, nothing even in the published investigation points to this, only "common sense." The problem is that in this way we are being exposed to convenient criticism: oh, are you here unprovenly accusing Putin? So maybe you have everything else without proof? No, everything else is quite convincing. It is impossible to remove Putin entirely from the video, but I would have made him smaller there, and everything would have been preceded by "similar" and "I think"...
Political analyst Dmitry Nekrasov is sure that the blame for the fact that everything has come out, of course, is the complete loss of professionalism by the Russian special services:
“Thoughts on the investigation into the poisoning of Navalny.
1. Unlike the story with the Malaysian Boeing, where everything was obvious from the very beginning, in the stories with the Skripals and Navalny, I honestly either did not know what to think at first or directly doubted the existence of a supreme sanction. Accident is one thing, but a conscious action with completely incomprehensible medieval motives to me is another.
With the Skripals, there was an enchanting self-exposure (where, by the way, are Petrov and Boshirov being kept, how did it happen that no one can still find them?), But in the story with Navalny, the most convincing argument for me is precisely stupidity and a mess. You can't think of such a thing. The fabricated versions are always much more logical, slimmer, and less self-contradictory. Moreover, such versions are easier to “sell” to a mass consumer of information who has not participated in real games, and therefore believes in the professionalism of the intelligence services and the wisdom of governments. From the point of view of propaganda, the story of stupidity is much worse selling than the story of the "cunning plan." So when stories are fabricated, they look different.
All my personal experience testifies that in reality it is a mess, stupid mistakes of performers, thoughtlessly and irrationally spent resources (there was a period when I myself was the object of close surveillance, and when I was provided with rather convincing evidence of this, it was difficult for me to believe in the scale precisely because it is impossible to believe that SO MUCH resources can be thoughtlessly spent even on such an insignificant person as me).
Why didn't they call on special communications - just because the mobile is stupidly more convenient. The turntable itself stood and called on important issues on a mobile. If the GRU can have the same number of numbers in the passport for the entire residency, then why can't the FSB make cover passports according to a single principle? This is so bureaucratic logical. And just the main thing. Why did they fly so much after Navalny? What for? So this is the usual (he himself was) the leader's logic - to tell the performer “you still sit in the waiting room N”, even when you know that N will not be there today. Just in case the situation suddenly changes and an order comes from above, and you are always ready. Resources are not important if there is an option to curry favor with high authorities. Well, the inclusion of personal phones where it is impossible is just a classic of the genre. The usual shoals of ordinary performers.
2. This investigation was, of course, not done by any journalists. Well, in the sense, ultimately, journalists, but obviously, not without tips from more serious structures. And this thought follows from one simple circumstance.
Okay, there are flights. Comparing about 1-2 thousand flights of airplanes and trains with hundreds of thousands (exactly this scale) passengers, this is certainly a great analytical work, but quite feasible if you spend a man-month of a simple analyst. I won't lie about billing, I just don't know how it works now. Maybe you can just buy all the data and also spend a lot of time and find (although involuntarily, too, thoughts about any "echelon" pop up).
But to track down where all those people who once worked with Novichok are now is not another difficulty, it is a different principle of working with information. No journalists will simply maintain such a database “just in case”. Digging from today - it is necessary to know very well where to dig (again from where?). I am already silent about the fact that the collection of such information can be qualified as espionage and treason, very big risks for all participants and the prospect of new stars for someone. Someone had such a database for approximately the same reasons for which a group of comrades traveled for so long after Navalny. Well, people's jobs are so stupid. And this someone (sometimes empty work comes in handy) immediately knew where to dig, and therefore dug up and gave the appropriate tips to journalists. (There are no claims to journalists or Navalny, you verify - you use it).
3. From the previous point, I see the following change in the situation. It is clear that in the past too many media sensations stemmed from intentional or accidental leaks of information from the special services. However, this demonstrative publication of a large number of FSB officers, the disclosure of their capabilities and knowledge, CNN's visit to the home of secret agent Tayakin (gee-gee-gee) and Navalnov's "I know where you live" are all a little from another opera.
Approximately from the same as during the war the German Air Force began to tell Germany about the war crimes of the Nazis and name the criminals.
Another thing is that, in my opinion, such a logic leads rather to consolidation than to the collapse of the regime. But the message is clear to me.
But still, I am haunted by the thought of where they are now going to get all these people. A utopian picture of a kind of special services "Sirius" arises in my head, where Chepiga teaches the history of Gothic architecture, and Tayakin teaches chemistry. But everything can be much sadder..."
And journalist Oleg Salmanov reasonably believes that it is easier to prove or disprove the results of the investigation. One has only to want and use the "Yarovaya law", according to which the data on calls and the call records themselves must be stored for six months:
“That is, somewhere in the depths of the data center of some MTS or Megafon, there are records of August 12, the beginning of the FSB operation. Makshakov calls Generals Vasiliev and Bogdanov in turn, and then begins to call Aleksandrov and Osipov. Osipov calls Panyaev. All of them call up with their colleague Oleg Tayakin, a chemical weapons specialist. Of course, they hardly say on the tapes "Putin ordered to poison Navalny." But now that we know the context of their conversations, the conversations themselves take on the character of material evidence. Its storage period only expires on February 12th ...
A record of August 19 is also kept somewhere. Tomsk. At midnight, Navalny, possibly already poisoned, goes to bed. And right there at 00-08, the coordinator Tayakin receives a call from a team member, FSB officer Alexey Krivoshchekov. For the next 40 minutes, Tayakin is intensively texting with someone through a messenger and at the same time talking with Makshakov. Calls stop at 00-44. These are very interesting calls. And thanks to Yarovaya, they are now stored somewhere under the cover of other, quite ordinary calls from Tomsk. Their storage period only expires on February 19...
Makshakov's negotiations dated August 21 are also kept there, when he begins to call specialized experts in order to understand how to hide the traces more effectively. These negotiations with Vasily Kalashnikov, who specializes in detecting residues of toxic substances in blood, with Oleg Demidov, specializing in organophosphates, to whom Novichok belongs, are very interesting, and no less interesting is his call to the Institute for Problems of Chemical and Energy Technologies in Biysk. Their records exist, and I think their members now remember with horror what they said there... Their storage period expires only on February 21st.
Extracting all these calls from Yarovaya's repositories is not that easy, but also not very difficult. Perhaps they have already been completely extracted, copied and put on a USB-stick..."