NewsUS intel doubts Putin's role in Navalny's death, Europeans skeptical

US intel doubts Putin's role in Navalny's death, Europeans skeptical

Władimir Putin
Władimir Putin
Images source: © East News | SOFIA SANDURSKAYA

5:34 PM EDT, April 27, 2024

American intelligence agencies believe that Vladimir Putin likely did not order the assassination of opposition leader Alexei Navalny in a penal colony above the Arctic Circle in February, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.
The WSJ, citing people familiar with the matter, stated that several American agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the intelligence unit of the State Department of the United States, concur that Putin probably was not behind Navalny's killing in mid-February.

This assessment "based on a range of information, including some classified intelligence, and an analysis of public facts, including the timing of his death and how it overshadowed Putin’s re-election," the WSJ explains. Navalny died a month before the so-called presidential elections in Russia, which occurred on March 15-17.

Europeans remain skeptical

The U.S. intelligence agencies have shared their findings with the intelligence services of some European countries. However, some European security officials "remain skeptical," pointing to Putin's extensive control over Russia and its special services.

They also recalled comments from Navalny's associate, Leonid Volkov, on the oppositionist's death: "The idea of Putin being not informed and not approving killing Navalny is ridiculous."

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, overseeing American intelligence agencies, refused to comment.
Putin has denied any involvement in Navalny's death. In March, he said that a few days before the opposition leader's death, he had agreed to exchange him for Russians imprisoned in the US.
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