US intelligence agencies say Putin didn’t order Russian dissident Navalny’s February death

US intelligence agencies have found that Russian President Vladimir Putin likely did not order opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s death at a prison camp in February, the Wall Street Journal reported.

While the assessment did not dispute Putin’s culpability for the death, it found that the timing possibly was not as intended by Putin, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

The finding is broadly accepted within the intelligence community and shared by several agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the State Department’s intelligence unit, according to the report.

The Kremlin has denied any state involvement.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Saturday he had seen the Journal’s report, which he said contained “empty speculation”.

“I’ve seen the material, I wouldn’t say it’s high quality material that deserves attention,” Peskov said.



‘Heartbreaking tragedy’: thousands gather to mourn Russian opposition leader Navalny

‘Heartbreaking tragedy’: thousands gather to mourn Russian opposition leader Navalny

The mysterious death of Navalny, an anti-corruption activist and Russia’s most prominent opposition figure, at an Arctic prison in February triggered a fresh round of tensions between Russia and the West at a time relations were fractured by the Ukraine war.

The death also sparked the biggest unauthorised protests since the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine. US President Joe Biden and other leaders have held the Russian leader ultimately at fault based on years of the Kremlin’s targeting of Navalny.

The latest assessment was based on a range of information such as classified intelligence and an analysis of public facts, including the timing of his death and how it overshadowed Putin’s re-election, the WSJ report said. Some European intelligence agencies have been told of the latest US view, it said.

Navalny fell sick during a walk at the remote maximum-security prison camp in the Arctic where he was last held, and medical staff were unable to revive him, the prison authorities said on February 16.



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