Death of Alexei Navalny | A long list of opponents targeted

The name of the opponent Alexeï Navalny, whose death was announced on Friday, is added to an already long list of double agents, generals, businessmen or politicians all having in common that they have opposed to the policies of Vladimir Putin.

Yevgeny Prigozhin


Former Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner paramilitary group, in 2016

One of the most recent cases is that of the late leader of the Wagner paramilitary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, whose abortive attempt at rebellion against Moscow had the whole world holding its breath last summer. Two months later, the name of this former ally of Vladimir Putin and that of several of his lieutenants appeared on the list of passengers killed during the crash of a private plane in Russia. A few days later, the Russian president declared that Yevgeny Prigozhin had “made serious mistakes during his life”, without giving further details.

Ravil Maganov


Russian President Vladimir Putin with Ravil Maganov (right), in November 2019

If he officially died after “a serious illness”, the real cause of death of this former chairman of the board of directors of the Russian private oil group Lukoil, in September 2022, remains unclear, agency sources Interfax press report claiming that he instead fell from a window while he was hospitalized. He was one of the rare big bosses to publicly call for a “rapid end to the conflict” in Ukraine. His name is added to a long list of Russian oligarchs who have died suddenly since the start of the conflict, Sydney Morning Herald having listed no less than 23 until the beginning of last year.

Boris Nemtsov


Boris Nemtsov, in 2012

An important actor in the opposition to Vladimir Putin and former deputy prime minister during the era of President Boris Yeltsin, Boris Nemtsov was shot four times at point blank range on a bridge a stone’s throw from the Kremlin on February 27, 2015. Two years later, five men from the republics of Chechnya and Ingushetia were sentenced to 11 to 20 years in prison for this murder, but the family of the deceased denounced a “total fiasco” of Russian justice which had not identified the real sponsor.

Alexander Litvinenko


Alexander Litvinenko, photographed at his home in London, in 2002

A former KGB agent, he was dismissed from the Russian security services after making public his management’s order to assassinate controversial businessman Boris Berezovsky. Refugee in the United Kingdom, he continued to denounce corruption and the alleged links of Russian intelligence services with organized crime. Until he died on November 23, 2006, after having tea with two men later identified by the European Court of Human Rights as having acted “as agents of the Russian state” . Significant traces of polonium 210, an extremely toxic radioactive substance, were found at the scene of the tragedy.

Sergei Skripal


Former spy Sergei Skripal in the cage before a hearing in Moscow in 2006

Litvinenko’s case is reminiscent of that of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, hospitalized after being found unconscious with his daughter on March 4, 2018, on a bench in Salisbury, United Kingdom. If they did not die and now live hidden under protection, the attempted poisoning with the nerve agent Novichok, attributed to Moscow by London, caused a collateral victim. Since then, three Russian intelligence agents have been charged with what is considered an attempted murder of this former Russian spy who worked for the British.

Anna Politkovskaya


Anna Politkovskaya, in 2005

This internationally recognized investigative journalist and specialist in crimes committed by the authorities in Chechnya was shot and killed in Moscow on October 7, 2006, in what is still considered one of the most high-profile murders of the Putin era. Sergei Khadzhikurbanov, a former Russian police officer sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in the assassination of Anna Politkovskaya, was pardoned last November by Vladimir Putin for enlisting in Russian forces in Ukraine, he said at the time. his lawyer.

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