Alexei Navalny may have been killed by single punch to heart, activist says | World News - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Alexei Navalny may have been killed by single punch to heart in infamous KGB techniqie, activist says

BySumanti Sen
Feb 22, 2024 12:42 PM IST

The activist said that before the punch, Alexei Navalny had been kept outdoors for over two hours in the subzero temperatures, which weakened his body

Vladimir Putin critic Alexei Navalny may have been killed with a single punch to the heart, a “hallmark of the KGB,” a human rights activist has said. Vladimir Osechkin, founder of the human rights group Gulagu.net, told the Times of London that Navalny was found dead with bruising on his head and chest consistent with the “one-punch” technique. Osechkin cited a source at Polar Wolf penal colon, where Navalny died.

Flowers are seen placed around portraits of late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who died in a Russian Arctic prison, at a makeshift memorial in front of the former Russian consulate in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany, on February 20, 2024 (Photo by AFP)(AFP)
Flowers are seen placed around portraits of late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who died in a Russian Arctic prison, at a makeshift memorial in front of the former Russian consulate in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany, on February 20, 2024 (Photo by AFP)(AFP)

“It is an old method of the KGB’s special forces divisions,” Osechkin said. “They trained their operatives to kill a man with one punch in the heart, in the center of the body. It was a hallmark of the KGB.”

Unlock exclusive access to the story of India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now!

‘They first destroyed his body’

Osechkin said that before the punch, the 47-year-old had been kept outdoors for over two hours in the subzero temperatures of the Yamalo-Nenets region, which weakened his body. “I think that they first destroyed his body by keeping him out in the cold for a long time and slowing the blood circulation down to a minimum,” Osechkin said. “And then it becomes very easy to kill someone, within seconds, if the operative has some experience in this.” Osechkin went on to say that other people who had served their time in the prison claimed some of their fellow inmates were murdered this way by guards. 

Navalny’s official cause of death has not been revealed. The Russian authorities have not handed over his body to his family, and have claimed that it is required for a  two-week “chemical examination,” according to Navalny aide Kira Yarmysh.

Navalny’s wife, Yulia, has alleged that Putin’s regime poisoned her spouse with the nerve agent Novichok. She also accused them of trying to cover up the murder by delaying the release of his body to his family. 

However, Osechkin does not think this is likely. “It’s possible, of course, but when someone is under the control of the prison system, there are many options as to how to kill them,” the activist said. “Novichok would leave a trace in his body and would lead directly back to Putin, given he has tried it once before.”

The Kremlin has maintained that they are not involved in Navalny’s death. Putin’s spokesperson blasted the allegations as “unfounded and rude.”

Discover the complete story of India's general elections on our exclusive Elections Product! Access all the content absolutely free on the HT App. Download now!

Get Latest World News, Israel Iran conflict LIVE along with Latest News from India at Hindustan Times.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, April 15, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On