The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, assured that he approved the exchange of the opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, days before he died suddenly in an Arctic prison, of which his co-religionists directly accuse him.

“Believe me or not. The man who spoke to me had not finished the sentence and I already said: I agree. But unfortunately what happened happened,” said Putin, who for the first time pronounced Navalny’s name, in a conference press after achieving victory in the presidential elections.

He explained that someone who does not belong to the presidential administration -Navalni’s allies mentioned tycoon Román Abramovich- He proposed to exchange the opponent for Russians imprisoned in European countries.

“But With one condition I accepted it: we exchange it, but don’t let it come back again. let it stay there. But that’s life,” she said.

Putin alluded to “Mr. Navalny” and He described his death in a prison in the Arctic Circle as “a sad event.”

At the end of February, the collaborators of the late opposition leader accused Putin of ordering his murder days before his exchange for the Chechen Vadim Krásikov, who murdered the Georgian Zelimjan Jangoshvili in Berlin in August 2019, for which he was sentenced to life imprisonment. by a German court.

“Navalni should have been released in a few days, since we reached a decision on his exchange,” said María Pevchij, Navalni’s close collaborator, in a video on YouTube.

The opposition’s allies claim that it was Putin who decided to torpedo the exchange at the last momentwhich also included American citizens.

“On February 16, 2024, Vladimir Putin killed Alexei Navalny. He killed him in a vile and cowardly manner in a distant Siberian prison, where Navalny was separated from the rest of the world, separated from his family and loved ones, starved and They tortured him,” he said.

The start of the war in Ukraine two years ago convinced the opposition’s collaborators that they had to get him out of prison “at any price.”

Krasikov’s name was mentioned on several occasions by the American press in the possible exchange of Russian citizens for Americans such as Paul Whelan, who was sentenced in Russia to 16 years for espionage.

Furthermore, during the recent interview with the American journalist, Tucker Carlson, Putin alluded to a Russian “patriot”, in clear reference to Krasikov, as a possible object of exchange for The Wall Street Journal journalist, Evan Gershkovich.

Tens of thousands of Russians attended Navalny’s funeral in Moscow in the largest protest against the Kremlin’s repression and the war in Ukraine.


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