Alexei Navalny was likely killed with a single punch to the heart, a technique used by the KGB, according to a source inside the prison where the Putin critic was being held.
Bruises found on the opposition leader’s body were consistent with the “one-hit” method of execution, according to Vladimir Osechkin, an exiled Russian human rights activist.
“It’s an old method of the KGB special forces divisions,” he said. The times. ‘They trained their officers to kill a man with a punch to the heart, in the center of the body. It was a hallmark of the KGB.
Osechkin, founder of the Gulagu.net group that collects testimonies from prisoners and workers in Russia’s notorious prisons, says his information came from a source working in the Arctic penal colony where Navalny died on Friday.
His widow accused Putin of murdering her husband, alleging that he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok and that Russian authorities are trying to cover up the murder by refusing to hand over his body.
Alexei Navalny was probably killed with a single punch to the heart, a technique used by the KGB, it has been claimed.
Osechkin is founder of the Gulagu.net group that collects testimonies from prisoners and workers in Russia’s famous prisons.
Before becoming Russian leader, Putin served for about 15 years in the KGB as a foreign intelligence officer.
Osechkin, however, is not convinced, saying authorities could have killed Navalny any way they wanted and would not have wanted to “leave a trail on his body and it would lead directly to Putin.”
It claims Navalny had been forced to spend between two and a half to four hours in an outdoor solitary confinement space where temperatures could drop to -27C the day before his death.
Prisoners are typically kept outdoors for no more than an hour and in much less extreme conditions.
“I think they first destroyed his body by keeping him outdoors for a long time in the cold and minimizing blood circulation,” Osechkin explained.
“And then it’s very easy to kill someone, in a matter of seconds, if the officer has some experience in this.”
The single punch, a stealth killing technique supposedly used by KGB special forces to avoid leaving any indication of the cause of death, is said to have been used then.
Before becoming Russian leader, Putin served for about 15 years in the KGB as a foreign intelligence officer, retiring in 1990 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Russian authorities have so far failed to provide a convincing explanation for the death of Navalny, the Russian president’s most prominent critic.
According to the national prison service, the 47-year-old man died after taking a walk and feeling unwell.
However, a state-controlled channel on the messaging site Telegram later claimed that the cause of death was a blood clot.
Vladimir Putin photographed in his KGB uniform in the 1980s
Navalny’s family has been told they will not be able to access his body for two weeks.
Osechkin said he believes the presence of FSB agents in the prison is proof that Navalny was murdered by the Kremlin.
And he added: “As far as I know from my sources, it was a special operation that had been prepared several days in advance.”
“It was an order from Moscow because without Moscow it would not have been possible to dismantle the cameras in the way they did.”
The news came after Alexei Navalny’s widow’s Twitter account was briefly suspended yesterday for allegedly “violating [its] rules” amid growing concerns about the platform’s political impartiality.
Yulia Navalnaya’s account on X, formerly known as Twitter, was quickly reinstated following a wave of online criticism.
The social network, owned by Elon Musk, later claimed that its anti-spam and manipulation defense mechanism had “mistakenly flagged” its page.
The account was suspended just a day after Navalnaya accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of killing her husband and promised to take over his work as an anti-corruption activist.
Meanwhile, Musk recently said there is “no way” Putin will lose the war in Ukraine.
In a video posted Monday, including part of it on X, Navalnaya called on Russians to join her when Navalny’s family was told they would not be able to access his body for two weeks.
The Russian prison service reported the death of the Russian opposition leader on February 16 after he reportedly went for a walk and felt unwell.
Navalny, an outspoken critic of Putin, was serving a 19-year prison sentence in an Arctic penal colony.
Navalnaya, however, accused Russian authorities of murdering her husband with Novichok and hindering the return of his body until all traces of the nerve agent disappeared.
“I shouldn’t have been in this place, I shouldn’t have been recording this video,” he explained in an emotional clip, which was posted on social media.
Lyudmila Navalnya (pictured) has been fighting for prison authorities to return her son’s body.
‘There should have been someone else in my place. But that person was murdered by Vladimir Putin.”
Mrs Navalnaya went on to say that by “killing Alexei”, Putin had “killed half of me, half of my heart and soul”.
The former economist and reticent “first lady” of the Russian opposition has long avoided the spotlight and rarely gives media interviews in an effort to shield her two children from the fallout of Navalny’s political career.
The family currently lives in an undisclosed location and is unlikely to return to Russia, where they could face persecution.
However, since her husband’s death, Navalnaya has appeared more willing to take a public stance: she addressed EU foreign ministers in Brussels on Friday as Germany proposed a new round of retaliatory sanctions.
His Twitter account was suspended just one day after its creation and four days after Navalny’s death.
A message on the account page read: ‘Account suspended. X suspends accounts that violate X rules.’
As outrage over the platform suspension grew, Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation tagged Musk himself in a post on X, asking him to “please explain exactly what rules were violated” by Ms. Navalnaya.
Less than an hour later, Ms. Navalnaya’s page was restored.
Twitter’s moderation account said: “We reactivated the account as soon as we learned of the error and will update the defense.”
Before her account was suspended, Navalnaya had gone to X to urge the Kremlin to “return Alexei’s body and allow him to be buried with dignity.”
She also posted a clip of the nine-minute video alleging Putin’s murder of her husband.
Since purchasing the social media platform in 2022, Musk has taken steps to reinstate a number of previously banned accounts, including that of former US President Donald Trump.
The Tesla founder has previously referred to himself as a “free speech absolutist” and stated that he intended X to be a space for healthy discussion of a wide range of beliefs.
However, a number of prominent accounts have been suspended in recent months, including eight journalists and others who had criticized the Israeli government.
The suspensions on X remain a mystery and Musk has promised to investigate the recent trend, which calls into question which political opinions are considered acceptable and which are not on the platform.