Russian FSB Agent Tricked Into Allegedly Admitting He Poisoned Putin Critic Alexei Navalny

Russian FSB Agent Tricked Into Allegedly Admitting He Poisoned Putin Critic Alexei Navalny.

Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny says he tricked an FSB agent into admitting he poisoned him and sought to kill him this summer by placing poison in his underwear. In a blog post, he said he phoned a man named Konstantin Kudryavtsev, who he said was a chemical weapons expert with the FSB domestic intelligence agency. “I called my killer. He confessed everything,” Navalny said on Twitter, a claim rejected later Monday by the FSB.

Navalny said he disguised his phone number and presented himself as an aide to Security Council chief Nikolai Patrushev, saying he needed information for an official report on the attempted poisoning. The opposition leader published an audio recording and a transcript of the phone call and released a video of him conducting the conversation.

He said that voice analysis “would demonstrate that it is indeed” Kudryavtsev speaking. In the audio recording, the voice on the other end of the line initially sounds hesitant and cautious but eventually tells the story and explains why Navalny managed to survive the poison attack.

The FSB late Monday described the phone call as a “provocation aimed at discrediting” the agency. It said that the phone conversation “about the alleged actions against” Navalny would not have been possible without “the support of foreign intelligence services,” adding that the video the Kremlin critic published of the call was “fake”.

Navalny, 44, fell violently ill during a flight from Siberia to Moscow in August and was hospitalised in the Russian city of Omsk before being transported to Berlin by medical aircraft. Experts from several Western countries concluded that the Kremlin critic was poisoned with the Soviet-era Novichok nerve agent — a claim that Moscow has repeatedly denied.

A joint media report led by the Bellingcat investigative website last week revealed what it said were the names and photos of chemical weapons experts from the FSB that had tailed Navalny for years.

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Tony Winterburn

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