- Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny allegedly convinced a Russian security agent that he was an assistant to a senior official who had requested a report on the August trial of Navalny’s life.
- The agent, Konstantin Kudryavtsev, revealed that the poison, a nervous agent Novichok, was planted in Navalny’s underwear.
- Navalny fell ill on a flight from Tomsk to Moscow. Kudryavtsev told Navalny that if the plane had not landed in an emergency or if the medical staff had responded a little slower, “maybe everything would have gone differently.”
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Opposition leader and Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny fooled a Russian agent who followed him before an attempt on his life in August, revealing that he had been poisoned by a nervous Novichok agent planted in his underwear, he reported. Bellingcat on Monday.
Presenting himself as a fictitious assistant to a senior Russian official, Navalny convinced Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) agent Konstantin Kudryavtsev, whom Bellingcat had previously exposed as a player in the plot to kill the Russian opposition leader, to participate in a debriefing. .
“What went wrong?” Navalny asked. “Why was Operation Navalny in Tomsk a complete failure?”
Navalny became violently ill on August 20 while flying from Tomsk to Moscow. The aircraft landed urgently and was taken to a hospital in Omsk, where it was placed in a coma. He was then taken to Germany for further treatment and there it was established that he had been poisoned with a nerve agent from the Novichok family, a collection of chemical weapons developed by the Soviet Union.
In October, a Bellingcat investigation revealed that Russia was secretly conducting a chemical weapons program and that scientists involved in the program were in contact with state-led assassins.
In his appeal to Kudryavtsev, Navalny asked how the poison was administered, specifically asking about clothing as a means of delivery.
“What piece of cloth did you focus on? What clothes had the biggest risk factor?” Navalny asked.
“Panties,” Kudryavtsev replied, explaining that the poison had been placed along the inner seams in the groin area. The operators involved expected the poison to be absorbed into the body and leave no traces.
The FSB agent revealed that a reconnaissance team stopped the rooms at Navalny’s hotel, paving the way for the operations team to plant poison.
When asked why Navalny survived the attack, Kudryavtsev said things would have ended differently if the plane had not landed urgently or if medical staff had responded more slowly.
“If [the plane] they flew a little longer and didn’t land suddenly somehow and so on, maybe everything would have gone differently, “said Kudryavtsev, who was part of the cleaning crew and not the shot crew.” I mean, if it weren’t for the prompt work of the doctors, the paramedics on the runway and so on. “
CNN, which worked with Bellingcat on the latest investigation, reported that toxicology experts said Navalny would probably have died if the plane he was on had continued on to Moscow.
Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted last week that the FSB was following Navalny, but denied that the security service was involved in an attempt on his life.
“Intelligence agencies, of course, have to follow him,” Putin said, “but that doesn’t mean he has to be poisoned – who needs him? If he really wanted to, he’d probably be done.”
Navalny tried to hire other Russian security agents, but shut her down after realizing who she was.