U.S. Sanctions 4 Russians Linked to FSB Accused of Poisoning Alexey Navalny

  • Defensemirror.com Bureau
  • 05:18 AM, August 18, 2023
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U.S. Sanctions 4 Russians Linked to FSB Accused of Poisoning Alexey Navalny
Russian opposition leader, lawyer, and anti-corruption activist Aleksey Navalny

The U.S.  Treasury Department on Thursday sanctioned four Russians linked to Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) claiming they were involved in the 2020 poisoning of Alexey Navalny, the country's most well-known opposition leader.

“Today we remind Vladimir Putin and his regime that there are consequences not only for waging a brutal and unprovoked war against Ukraine, but also for violating the human rights of the Russian people,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “The assassination attempt against Aleksey Navalny in 2020 represents the Kremlin’s contempt for human rights, and we will continue to use the authorities at our disposal to hold the Kremlin’s willing would-be executioners to account.”

The individuals targeted in the latest sanctions are Alexey Alexandrovich Alexandrov (Alexandrov), Konstantin Kudryavtsev (Kudryavtsev), Ivan Vladimirovich Osipov (Osipov), and Vladimir Alexandrovich Panyaev (Panyaev). They had previously been sanctioned by the U.S., but were newly sanctioned under the Magnitsky Act, which allows the U.S. government to target people involved in extrajudicial killings and other human rights abuses.

Navalny came to prominence as a leading Russian anti-corruption activist more than a decade ago. Exposés published by Navalny and his organization, the Anti-Corruption Foundation, have revealed the ill-gained wealth of Russia’s elite politicians and their families, including, among others, President Vladimir Putin, former Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, and Kremlin spokesperson Dmitriy Peskov. As a vocal anti-corruption politician, Navalny has continued his fight against Russia’s kleptocracy despite the Kremlin’s attempts to silence him.  

On August 20, 2020, approximately 30 minutes into a flight back to Moscow after campaigning in Tomsk and Novosibirsk, Navalny fell gravely ill, prompting an emergency landing in Omsk where Navalny was treated by local hospital staff. The U.S. government assesses that Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) officers used the nerve agent Novichok to poison Navalny. Novichok nerve agents were created by the Soviet Union, and Russia is the only known country to have used these chemical weapons. Russia previously used a Novichok nerve agent in the March 2018 attempted assassination of former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, United Kingdom.

The Russian operation against Navalny reportedly involved multiple individuals who were on the ground in both Tomsk and Omsk, as well as operatives coordinating the situation from afar. These individuals collaborated to surveil Navalny ahead of the attack, break into his hotel room and apply the chemical weapon to his personal belongings, and they attempted to erase any evidence of their operation following the attack.

Alexandrov is an FSB Criminalistics Institute operative who has been reported to be one of the main perpetrators of Navalny’s poisoning. Alexandrov also reportedly surveilled Nikita Isaev, another Russian anti-corruption activist, prior to Isaev’s death on a train in Russia in 2019.

Kudryavtsev is another FSB Criminalistics Institute operative reported to be part of the group involved in Navalny’s poisoning. Kudryavtsev admitted to his involvement in the cleanup operation following Navalny’s poisoning. Kudryavtsev also reportedly was involved in surveillance of Russian opposition politician and Putin critic Vladimir Kara-Murza.

Osipov is an FSB Criminalistics Institute operative who has been reported to be one of the main perpetrators of Navalny’s poisoning.

Panyaev is an FSB operative who reportedly tailed Navalny on multiple occasions prior to the attack.

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