So, if you follow the politics in Russia and what is happening here, you probably know that opposition politician Alexei Navalny was recently poisoned. Now I want to tell you that, unfortunately, this is a sad reality in the life of the Russian opposition. They are under serious moral pressure, pressure from the media, financial pressure, but if even then they do not give up or do not get sold, then they are simply poisoned.
Navalny spent the last days before the poisoning in Siberia. First, he came to Novosibirsk, where he filmed an investigation about the deputies of the city council from United Russia (political party loyal to Putin). Navalny also met with volunteers of the Novosibirsk 2020 coalition campaign.
Then the politician went to Tomsk, from where he flew to Moscow. The passengers of the flight report that the politician went to the toilet and did not come out. Then screams and groans were heard, the aircraft crew made a decision to make an emergency landing in Omsk.
Navalny’s press secretary, Kira Yarmysh, says that Alexei was poisoned with something mixed into tea – that was the only thing he drank in the morning at the airport. An eyewitness photographed Navalny with a cup of tea and posted the photo on Instagram.
A criminal case has not yet been initiated.
On the evening of September 11, 2018, Pyotr Verzilov, a member of Pussy Riot and the publisher of Mediazona, was hospitalized in serious condition. At first, he began to lose sight, speech and the ability to move. On the night of September 15, he was transported by special flight to Berlin. On September 24, German police took Verzilov and his family under guard because of possible surveillance.
When Pyotr got better, he named two possible reasons for his poisoning: the action in the final of the World Cup in Luzhniki and the intention to investigate the murder of a Russian film crew in the Central African Republic. Military journalist Orkhan Dzhemal, director Alexander Rastorguev and cameraman Kirill Radchenko were going to make a film about the activities of the “Wagner Group”(private military organization) in the CAR and died. Verzilov confirmed that on September 10, that is, on the eve of the poisoning, he received new information about the murder of journalists.
In the spring of the same year, a high-profile story took place in British Salisbury, where a former GRU colonel defector Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned. They spent several weeks in a coma. London stated that the Skripals were poisoned with the “Novichok” developed in the USSR, and accused Russia of organizing the assassination attempt. Moscow continues to deny these charges. The Skripals have recovered, but their whereabouts are now unknown.
Prior to this, the most talked about case was the death in February 2006 of former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko, who drank tea with the radioactive isotope polonium-210 in London. The British authorities have accused another ex-FSB officer and now a State Duma deputy Andrei Lugovoi of poisoning, but he denies everything.
In 2004, Novaya Gazeta journalist Anna Politkovskaya fell seriously ill. This happened after she drank tea on an Aeroflot plane that flew from Moscow to Beslan, where terrorists then seized the school. The newspaper’s management expressed the opinion that Politkovskaya was deliberately poisoned so that she would become temporarily disabled. Two years after this incident, in 2006, the journalist was killed.
In 2003, after a serious and extremely mysterious illness, the deputy editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta, Yuri Shchekochikhin, died. Colleagues believe he was also poisoned. There were plenty of motives. Shchekochikhin was investigating a case of smuggling, which could be covered by FSB officers. He also dealt with the exchange of prisoners and hostages of the second Chechen war.
In April 2004, Chechen authority Lecha Idigov died a strange death in Volgograd. Idigov and Shchekochikhin knew each other – they were exchanging prisoners and hostages from different sides of the front line. Both Shchekochikhin and Idigov had accelerated hair loss and instant aging syndrome before their deaths.
In 2004, another landmark death occurred. In September, under mysterious circumstances, Roman Tsepov, a former guard of the mayor’s office of St. Petersburg and Anatoly Sobchak, who was associated with many shadowy figures of the Northern capital, died. In particular, with the past of Vladimir Putin, who worked for Anatoly Sobchak. After Litvinenko’s death, the media noted the similarity of the symptoms of the disease of Tsepov and Litvinenko.
On April 16, 2019, after a flight from Yekaterinburg to Ufa, writer and journalist Dmitry Bykov was hospitalized. In the City Clinical Hospital No. 22 of Ufa, he fell into a coma, he underwent artificial lung ventilation. On April 18, Bykov was taken to Moscow for treatment. On April 21, the writer regained consciousness, and a few days later from the hospital he broadcast “Odin” on the opposition radio station “Echo of Moscow”. Then he stated that his hospitalization was related to poisoning.
None of these poisonings, except for the Skripals’ story, have been properly investigated.