Alexei Navalny was supposed to be exchanged for Vadim Krasikov, an officer of the Russian Federal Security Service convicted in Germany for the murder of Zelimkhan Khangoshvili. However, at the last stage of the negotiations, the Russian president decided to kill him. This was announced by Navalny's associate and chairman of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, Maria Pevchikh.

“Why did this happen now? Why February 16? I know the answer to this question exactly, and I have no desire to hide the truth. Navalny should be released in the next few days because we have reached a decision on his exchange. At the beginning of February, Putin was offered to exchange the killer, an officer of the FSB Vadim Krasikov, for two American citizens and Alexei Navalny. On the evening of February 15, I received confirmation that negotiations were underway and in the final stages. Alexey was killed on February 16,” says Pevchikh in the video.

After Navalny's death, she learned that businessman Roman Abramovich gave Vladimir Putin a proposal to exchange prisoners, Maria Pevchikh says.

“I asked Abramovich through mutual acquaintances when, where, and under what circumstances he did this, what Putin said, but unfortunately, he did not answer these questions, although he did not deny anything. Putin was clearly told that the only way to get Krasikov was to trade him for Navalny. Putin thought - I can't stand Navalny being on the loose, and since they are willing to trade Krasikov in principle, we just need to get rid of the subject of trade, and then, if necessary, replace him with someone else. This is absolutely illogical, irrational. This is the behavior of a mad mafioso, but the point is that Putin is deranged by his hatred of Navalny. He can't stand Navalny so much that he acts to the detriment of himself and his rational interests,” said Maria Pevchikh.

After the death of the Russian oppositionist, on February 18, the German publication Bild was the first to report that they were going to exchange Navalny for Krasikov. According to journalists, Moscow, Washington, and Berlin were involved in the negotiations, and Alexei Navalny should be released soon.

The fact that the Russian authorities are still trying to get Zelimkhan Khangoshvili's killer out of the German prison was confirmed at the beginning of February. Putin, in an interview with Tucker Carlson, indicated that he is ready to exchange Wall Street Journal journalist Evan Gershkovich, who is accused of espionage in Russia, for Krasikov. Earlier, the media wrote that Russia was trying to release Khangoshvili's killer in exchange for the release of American basketball player Brittney Griner, who was arrested on charges of drug smuggling. The basketball player returned to the USA at the end of 2022, after a 10-month prison sentence. He was traded to arms dealer Victor Booth.

On February 16, the Federal Penitentiary Service in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District reported that after a walk in N3 Correctional Colony, Alexei Navalny felt ill and almost immediately lost consciousness. “All the necessary resuscitation measures were carried out, but they did not bring positive results. Emergency doctors confirmed the convict's death. The causes of death are being determined,” the agency announced. The source of the propaganda channel Russia Today named a blood clot as the cause of death. On the morning of February 17, Lyudmila Navalnaya arrived at the Kharp colony. There she was told that her son had died of “sudden death syndrome.”

On February 24, it became known that Navalny's body was handed over to his family. The mother of the deceased politician said that she was given an ultimatum and was asked to bury her son secretly.

The opposition politician was 47 years old. He was serving his sentence in the special regime colony Polar Wolf located in the settlement of Kharp on the Yamal Peninsula in Siberia.

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