Navalny's team accuses Putin of murdering the dissident to avoid a prisoner exchange

The Russian opponent was going to be released along with two American citizens in exchange for the release of the murderer Vadim Krasikov.

A few days after his death, it was learned that Alexei Navalny was going to be released in a prisoner exchange between Russia and the international community. This was revealed by journalist Maria Pevchikh, a collaborator of the dissident, who assured that the release of Navalni and two American citizens held by Moscow was agreed in exchange for a Russian hitman who is serving a life sentence in Germany.

"Alexei Navalny could have been sitting in my place right now, today. It's not a figure of speech. Navalny was supposed to be released in the next few days because we had reached a decision on his exchange. In early February, Putin was offered to exchange FSB assassin Vadim Krasikov for two American citizens and Alexei Navalny. On the night of February 15, I received confirmation that the negotiations were in their final phase. On February 16, Alexei was killed," Pevchikh said in a video.

Vadim Krasikov, the name Pevchikh refers to, has been serving a sentence in Germany since 2021 for the murder of a Georgian citizen who fought against the Russian Army in Chechnya, according to the Associated Press. The killer shot the victim several times in a Berlin park. It is not the first time that the Kremlin has requested his release.

The journalist continued her speech saying that Putin was not going to tolerate Navalny being released, so it was necessary to "get rid of the barter object":

Why was Navalni killed now? They made it very clear to Putin that the only way to receive Krasikov was to exchange for Navalni. 'Oh, yes?' Putin thought. I do not accept a Navalni in freedom. And if they are willing to trade Krasikov, then they have to get rid of the barter item. On February 16, 2024, Vladimir Putin killed Alexei Navalny. He killed him in a vile and cowardly way in a distant Siberian prison, where Navalny was separated from the rest of the world, separated from his family and loved ones, starved and tortured.

Last Saturday, Lyudmila Ivanovna, Navalni's mother, received her son's body eight days after his death. The delivery was conditional on the family holding a private funeral instead of a public one. If he had not accepted it, the dissident would have been buried in the prison where he died.