Russia: Putin confirms plans to replace Navalny

Russia: Putin confirms plans to replace Navalny

“As far as Mr. Navalny is concerned, he is no longer alive”: Before his death, Putin claims to have agreed to a replacement for the prominent Kremlin critic. Navalny confidants call the statement “cynical.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin officially confirmed for the first time on Sunday that the now deceased Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny should be replaced. Putin said at a press conference in Moscow after his victory in the presidential election that he had already given his consent to the exchange for Russians imprisoned in the West. “As for Mr. Navalny, he is no longer alive,” Putin was quoted as saying. “This is a sad event.”

“Unfortunately, what happened happened,” Putin continued about Navalny’s death. “But it happens, there’s nothing you can do about it, that’s life.”

Navalny’s long-time confidant Leonid Volkov called Putin’s statement a month after the death of the Kremlin opponent “cynical.” Putin, who said Navalny’s name for the first time, actually killed his opponent so that he wouldn’t have to be replaced. He described Putin as a “blood-sucking bug” who would soon burst.

Circumstances of death remain unclear

Kremlin critic Navalny, who was sentenced to a long prison sentence, died in a prison camp in Siberia in mid-February. The circumstances of his death are still unclear to this day. Authorities say Putin’s harshest critic collapsed while touring the icy prison yard. Attempts at resuscitation were unsuccessful. His widow Yulia Navalnaya believes that her husband was murdered in the camp.

Shortly after Navalny’s death, it was reported from his circle of confidants that he should actually have been exchanged for the so-called Tiergarten murderer, who was imprisoned in Germany. Accordingly, Vadim K., who was convicted in Germany in December 2021, should have been extradited to Russia – in return for Navalny and two unnamed Americans. It was said that a corresponding offer was made to Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin at the beginning of February.

Putin: No interest in world war

Putin painted the tensions between Russia and the West, especially NATO, in a dark light. A comprehensive conflict with NATO cannot be ruled out, and in this case the world would be only one step away from a third world war, the Kremlin chief explained. “I think it’s unlikely that anyone is interested in this,” Putin was quoted as saying by the state agency Tass.

According to Putin, numerous soldiers from NATO member states are already deployed in Ukraine. “We already know that,” he said. French and English have already been heard. “This is not a good thing, especially for them, because they are dying there in large numbers,” Putin said – without providing any evidence for this claim.

Source: Stern

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