Western security agencies believe that Kremlin meant to kill Navalny

Kremlin meant to kill Navalny, western security agencies believe
Navalny in a Berlin hospital with his wife in September. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: Western security agencies believe Russian authorities intended to kill the country’s opposition leader Alexei Navalny and only failed to achieve the deadly goal because of first responders’ quick thinking when he suddenly fell ill in August.

The conclusion from lab tests is that the Russian leader was poisoned using a potentially milder strain of novichok agent than the one used in the Salisbury attack pointing to an active chemical weapons program in Russia which is capable of producing different variants of the poison.

Diplomats from Germany, Britain, France are now working together to try to get the OPCW chemical weapons agency to formally declare that Russia was responsible at a plenary meeting, which starts at the end of the month. Western security agencies accused Russia from the beginning of it.

It is not clear if that effort will succeed, but in private, European security agencies say that there is “growing evidence” of Russian state involvement in the attack.

On 20 August, Navalny collapsed on a flight from Tomsk to Moscow. He fell into a coma and is probably only alive because the plane carrying him made an emergency landing in Omsk where he was given atropine by the doctors first treating him. Atropine is the only drug known to be effective.

Tests have been carried out in labs in Germany, where Navalny was airlifted for treatment, Sweden and France and by the OPCW. All the countries concluded traces of the novichok nerve agent were found in Navalny’s body.

They also concluded the strain of novichok nerve agent used was different from that used in the Salisbury attack in the United Kingdom in 2018, which targeted Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia and ultimately led to the death of a British woman named Dawn Sturgess.

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