On Thursday, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned four Russians accused in the poisoning of currently imprisoned Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny. The Treasury Department said the four individuals were members of Russia’s Federal Security Service, or the FSB (the main successor agency to the Soviet Union’s KGB).
The sanctions targeted Alexey Alexandrovich Alexandrov, Konstantin Kudryavtsev, Ivan Vladimirovich Osipov and Vladimir Alexandrovich Panyaev, all of whom the Treasury said were involved in the assassination attempt. The Treasury said that Alexandrov and Osipov are both FSB Criminalistics Institute operatives who are believed to be among the main perpetrators of the poisonings. Kudryavstev, another operative admitted to his involvement in a cleanup operation after the poisoning while Panyaev reportedly tailed Navalny ahead of the attack.
All four of the individuals were associated with the Russian Federal Security Service, or FSB, and were previously designated in 2021 “for acting for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly for the organization. The Treasury said: “These individuals collaborated to surveil Navalny ahead of the attack, break into his hotel room and apply the chemical weapon to his personal belongings, and they attempted to erase any evidence of their operation following the attack.”
Navalny, one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest critics, was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent while on a plane from Tomsk to Moscow in August 2020. The aircraft diverted to Omsk, where Navalny was hospitalized in a coma. He received treatment and recovered, with samples of his blood and urine taken by representatives of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Lab tests revealed the presence of Novichok. Navalny returned to Russia after recovering but was quickly detained on charges, and has been in prison since 2021. He was sentenced to 19 more years in jail on extremism charges earlier this year, with the U.S. claiming the charges “unfounded” and calling for his immediate release.
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