Updated February 27th, 2024 at 11:03 IST

Putin's Critic Alexei Navalny Was To Be ‘Freed’ In A Prisoner Swap? Here's What Allies Say

Navalny and two other United States citizens were scheduled to be exchanged for high profile Russian FSB officer identified as Vadin Krasikov.

Reported by: Digital Desk
अलेक्सी नवलनी की मौत की हुई पुष्टि | Image:ANI
Advertisement

Russia’s opposition leader and crusader of anti corruption, Alexei Navalny, who died in arctic prison colony was days away from being freed, his allies have claimed. Navalny was about to be freed in a prisoner swap ahead of his death, one of his close allies said in a video on their YouTube channel. The claims were made by an anti-corruption activist, Maria Pevchikh, who is chairperson of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation.

According to Pevchikh, Navalny and two other United States citizens were scheduled to be exchanged for a Russian FSB officer identified as Vadin Krasikov. The Russian hitman is serving sentence in a prison in Germany. 

Advertisement

The 58 year old is a high ranking colonel in the Russian secret service and was sentenced for life in 2019. The Russian national was detained after the murder of a Georgian citizen who had the ethnicity of Chechen identified as Zelimkhan “Tornike” Khangoshvili in 2019. The case was described as the “state mandated murder” that breached the sovereignty and laws of Germany. The latter ordered expulsion of two Russian diplomats in connection with the incident.

Negotiations to free Navalny ‘were in their final stages’: Pevchikh

Navalny’s spokesperson said that she “received confirmation that negotiations were in their final stages on the evening of 15 February. On 16 February, Alexei was killed.” She then went on to echo the rhetoric of the West that the Kremlin critic was killed by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. Pevchikh said that Putin could not stand Navalny to be freed. Russia, however, denied all these claims.

Kremlin press secretary, Dmitry Peskov said that he was "not aware of such agreements” of a prisoner swap. Navalny’s spokesperson claimed that the negotiations were being concluded by February 15. On February 16, Navalny was declared dead by the penal colony service in Siberia he was held for 19 years. The 47 year old died after falling unconscious during a walk, the authorities said. In the video, FBK’s chairwoman said that the negotiations to free Navalny were going on since two years and entered the final stages. Navalny "had to be freed from jail at any cost, and urgently,” she said.

Advertisement

Published February 27th, 2024 at 11:03 IST