Skip to content
Edit post

WSJ: Putin likely did not directly order Navalny's death, US intelligence says

by Martin Fornusek April 27, 2024 8:44 PM 2 min read
A portrait of Alexei Navalny, candles, and flowers are left at a memorial in Paris on Feb. 16, 2024, after the announcement that the Kremlin's most prominent critic had died in an Arctic prison. (Ian Langsdon/AFP via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.

Become a member Support us just once

Russian President Vladimir Putin likely did not give a direct order for the murder of opposition leader Alexei Navalny in a prison colony in February, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on April 27, citing sources familiar with U.S. intelligence assessments.

The finding does not indicate that Putin is not guilty of Navalny's death, only that he did not order it at that moment, the WSJ noted.

Navalny, Russia's leading opposition figure, died on Feb. 16 in a Russian penal colony behind the Artic Circle.

The news was followed by a new wave of Western sanctions and speculations about whether Navalny's death was a result of harsh prison conditions or an intentional murder.

The conclusion that the Kremlin did not directly order Navalny's death is accepted within the U.S. intelligence community and shared by several agencies, including the CIA, the State Department's intelligence unit, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), the WSJ reported.

Visit KI Insights to learn more and subscribe to the insider weekly newsletter
visit ki insights

The assessment was reportedly based on classified intelligence and certain circumstances, such as that Navalny's death supposedly overshadowed Putin's re-election in March.

Although European intelligence agencies have been told about this position, some countries remain skeptical that Putin was not directly involved in Navalny's death, according to the outlet.

"In a system as tightly controlled as Putin's Russia, it is doubtful that harm could have come to Navalny without the president’s prior awareness," European officials reportedly said.

Leonid Volkov, Navalny's close associate, told the WSJ that the U.S. intelligence community's assessment is naive, saying: "The idea of Putin being not informed and not approving killing Navalny is ridiculous."

Navalny's death was followed by a further crackdown by the Russian regime, as even those who came to lay flowers to honor the opposition leader were detained, and some were reportedly called up for military service.

Alexei Navalny’s life and death as main opponent to Putin regime
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s death on Feb. 16 did not come as a surprise for those familiar with Russian politics. Navalny was Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s main opponent, and the Kremlin had used all the tools at its disposal to shut him up. He was sentenced in several fabricate…
Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.
Freedom can be costly. Both Ukraine and its journalists are paying a high price for their independence. Support independent journalism in its darkest hour. Support us for as little as $1, and it only takes a minute.
visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

3:12 PM

Russian shell production three times greater than of Ukraine's allies.

Using publicly available data, consulting firm Bain & Company claims that Russian factories can produce or refurbish 4.5 million 152 mm shells for $1,000 per round this year. European countries and the U.S. are only expected to produce 1.3 million 155 mm shells combined at an average cost of $4,000 per unit.
Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
2:55 AM

Russia attacks 10 communities in Sumy Oblast.

The attacks caused 174 recorded explosions in the area. The village of Znob-Novhorodske endured the heaviest assault, with 59 explosions caused by Russian artillery, mortars, and Grad MLRS.
MORE NEWS

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.