Negotiations For Prisoner Exchange Bofore Alexei Navalny Death 2024

Two senior European security officials familiar with the negotiations confirmed that a prisoner exchange with Russia was proposed, involving Navalny and others held in Russian prisons, in exchange for Krasikov.

According to Pevchikh, Putin seemingly couldn’t accept Navalny’s release, so he opted to “get rid of the bargaining chip” (Navalny) to negotiate Krasikov’s exchange for other prisoners later.

Prisoner Exchange Bofore Alexei Navalny Death

Maria Pevchikh, a close ally of the opposition leader, revealed in a video that Navalny and two US nationals were slated for exchange for Vadim Krasikov, a Russian FSB security service hitman serving a life sentence in Germany for assassinating a Chechen former separatist in Berlin.


“Navalny should have been free in the next few days because we had secured a decision to exchange him,” Pevchikh stated. “I received confirmation that the negotiations were at their final stage on the evening of February 15th.” Navalny’s reported death occurred on February 16th.

Public indications of the secret negotiations surfaced in September when the Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. officials viewed an exchange involving Krasikov as a way to secure the release of two Americans, Evan Gershkovich and Paul Whelan, detained in Russia for alleged espionage. Moscow had previously mentioned Krasikov’s name in prisoner swap discussions.

The State Department has asserted that Gershkovich and Whelan are wrongfully detained.

Sergei Guriev, an economist and long-time Navalny ally, informed the Guardian in September that through “direct and indirect” communication with Navalny, he understood that the politician’s previous determination to remain in Russia no longer stood. The New York Times reported, based on information from US officials, that German authorities were pushing for Navalny’s release as part of any agreement that would have resulted in Krasikov’s freedom, although they did not suggest that a deal was imminent.

The German government stated on Monday that it was aware of media reports regarding a potential prisoner swap involving Navalny but declined to provide any comment on the matter.

Pevchikh mentioned that Navalny’s allies had been strategizing since the onset of the conflict in Ukraine to facilitate his departure from Russia through a prisoner exchange arrangement, which would entail trading “Russian spies for political prisoners.”

Pevchikh claimed that the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich was the intermediary who conveyed the proposal to exchange Navalny and two American citizens for the imprisoned hitman Krasikov. However, she mentioned that when she contacted Abramovich regarding this matter, he neither confirmed nor denied his involvement as an informal negotiator in the discussions. As of now, there has been no immediate response from Abramovich following these allegations.

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