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St. Petersburg deputies call on Russian FSB to investigate operatives implicated in Navalny poisoning

Three deputies from St. Petersburg’s legislative assembly have sent an appeal to Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Alexander Bortnikov, demanding that his office look into the information outlined in a recent journalistic investigation about the August 2020 poisoning of opposition figure Alexey Navalny.

The statement was signed by St. Petersburg deputies Maxim Reznik, Mikhail Amosov, and Boris Vishnevsky. As Vishnevsky wrote on Facebook, deputies from Moscow, Pskov, Karelia, and other Russian regions will also be sending similar appeals to the FSB.

The deputies are demanding the launch of a criminal case under article 277 of the Criminal Code (“encroachment on the life of a statesman or public figure”) against the operatives from the special FSB sub-unit implicated in Navalny’s poisoning.

“What’s the point of reporting a possible crime by FSB officers to the FSB?” — they ask me...Yes, we aren’t very naive people. And we understand how meager the chance of the opening of a criminal case is...And nevertheless, we are addressing [the FSB]...They will have to answer us — about whether an inquiry was carried out, whether the people mentioned in the investigation were questioned, and whether they really are FSB officers, whether they really performed all of the actions that were written about.

On December 14, Bellingcat, The Insider, CNN, and Der Spiegel published an investigation implicating a special FSB sub-unit in poisoning Alexey Navalny with a Novichok-type nerve agent, after following him for several years. Navalny himself concluded that such an operation couldn’t have been carried out without the approval of FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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