Russian agent reveals Navalny poisoned through his underpants
Alexei Navalny was poisoned with a nerve agent planted in his underpants, an agent tasked with following him inadvertently revealed to the Russian opposition leader himself.
Konstantin Kudryavtsev, an agent with Russia’s FSB, discussed the poisoning in a phone call he believed to be a debriefing but was in fact with Navalny himself. The opposition leader had reached out to several FSB agents he believed to be involved in the poisoning, according to CNN. After those to whom he identified himself repeatedly hung up, Navalny called Kudryavtsev posing as a Russian National Security Council official.
On the call, published by the investigative outfit Bellingcat, Navalny asked Kudryavtsev “what went wrong, why was there a complete failure in Tomsk with Navalny?”
Over the course of the 45-minute call, Kudryavtsev confirmed the poison was applied to “the insides, the crotch” of Navalny’s underpants. Toxicologists told CNN that the nerve agent, when applied in this fashion, would be absorbed into the skin when Navalny began to sweat. They added that it appeared to have been applied in solid rather than liquid or gel form.
An investigation by CNN and Bellingcat determined an FSB poisons unit of up to 10 people shadowed Navalny for years. The investigation identified a ping from the cell phone of one of the identified members, Alexei Alexandrov, within a few hundred feet of Navalny’s hotel on the night he was poisoned.
It is unclear whether Kudryavtsev was present in the city of Tomsk, where the toxin was applied. However, he seemed to suggest the agency intended to kill Navalny and that he was only saved by his flight to Moscow diverting to get him medical attention.
“The flight is about three hours, this is a long flight,” Kudryavtsev said on the call. “If you don’t land the plane the effect would’ve been different and the result would’ve been different. So I think the plane played the decisive part.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week that if state agents had intended to kill Navalny, “they would’ve probably finished it.” Navalny was treated in Germany, where he remains in an undisclosed location after being released from the hospital.