Putin Likely Didn’t Order Death of Russian Dissident Alexei Navalny, U.S. Intel Agencies Say

American intelligence agencies have found that the death of Russian opposition leader and dissident Alexei Navalny was likely not ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Navalny’s February death in a prison camp in Russia’s Arctic regions prompted the United States and other countries to levy additional sanctions on the Russian economy, and derailed negotiations on prisoner exchanges. However, multiple American intelligence agencies, including the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency, have assessed that Putin did not directly order the death of Navalny, according to the WSJ.

“The idea of Putin being not informed and not approving killing Navalny is ridiculous,” Navalny ally Leonid Volkov said, according to the WSJ. Navalny survived being poisoned with a Russian nerve agent in August 2020.

“Navalny was a high-value prisoner, politically, and everybody knew that Putin was personally invested in his fate. The chances for this kind of unintended death are low,” Polish Institute of International Affairs director Slawomir Dębski told the WSJ.

However, the American intelligence assessment did not clear Putin of any culpability for the death of the Russian opposition leader who was reportedly to be part of a proposed prisoner swap that could have also included jailed Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich and ex-Marine Paul Whelan in exchange for a Russian operative accused of assassinating a Georgian dissident. (Read more from “Putin Likely Didn’t Order Death of Russian Dissident Alexei Navalny, U.S. Intel Agencies Say” HERE)