Kremlin agent Konstantin Kudryavtsev, suspected of being behind the attempted attack on Vladimir Putin’s political enemy, Alexei Navalny, has disappeared
Image: via Reuters)
An FSB agent linked to a squad responsible for killing one of Vladimir Putin’s main enemies has disappeared and may have been murdered, according to media reports.
Journalists who exposed the plot to assassinate Alexei Navalny by sprinkling Novichok on his underwear now fear for the life of their main source.
FSB agent Konstantin Kudryavtsev, who in his early 40s, was tricked into leaking full details of the sinister plot during a phone call to Navalny who posed as a senior Russian security official.
Leading investigative journalist Christo Grozev said Putin was “humiliated” by Kudryavtsev’s confession to Navalny, and for this reason he may have been murdered by Russian authorities.
“I am very personally concerned about the fate of Kudryavtsev,” he told the Popular Politics channel, which is linked to Navalny, who is now jailed for what are widely believed to be false convictions.
“He can’t be found anywhere.
“All his relatives have changed their phone.
“Even through them, we cannot find him. So to be honest, I really hope he’s alive…”
He warned: “It is possible that something drastic happened to him for him to be completely eliminated.
“It is possible that Putin’s personal resentment played a role [a role] here.
“I felt it after seeing Kudryavtsev’s confession and it’s entirely possible that he was taken out.”
Putin was shown on national television mocking the claim that the FSB had sought to kill Navalny.
“Intelligence agencies must of course keep an eye on him,” Putin said.
“But that doesn’t mean he has to be poisoned – who needs him?
“If they really wanted to, they probably would have finished the job.”
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It appears Putin was unaware of Kudryavtsev’s involuntary confession when he tried to deny any FSB role, Grozev said.
“It was a personal humiliation for the president,” he said.
“At that time it was known that Kudryavtsev gave an interview in which he denied [the words of] President.”
Four of the hit team’s eight members have been found after being “scattered” across Russia after being placed in shadowy administrative jobs.
Yet there is no record of Kudryavtsev, the man whose testimony exposed the FSB plot and proved Putin’s words wrong, and whose job was in the clean-up operation.
“We are still looking for Kudryavtsev,” Grozev said.
Either he was completely banned “or he died”.
He said, “We want to know.”
Navalny, considered Putin’s most charismatic and effective political enemy, was nearly killed by Novichok after falling violently ill on August 20, 2020 while flying from Tomsk to Moscow.
The plane made an emergency landing in Omsk where it was first treated before being allowed by Putin to fly to Germany for treatment.
Instagram account @navalny/AFP v)
Navalny posed as an official working for Putin’s security apparatchik, Nikolai Patrushev, and Kudryavtsev told him that the FSB had poisoned his underpants to target his groin area.
“If it [the plane] had flown a little longer and they hadn’t landed it hard somehow, maybe everything would have turned out differently,” Kudryavtsev said, implying that the pilot’s quick thinking has saved Navalny’s life after he was poisoned with the Soviet-era radioactive agent. .
He would have died “if it hadn’t been for the quick work of the doctors, paramedics on the airstrip, etc.”
The FSB agent said: “I was told to work precisely with the underpants, inside.”
His task was to recover the Navalny clothes from doctors and police in Omsk, removing key evidence.