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Alexei Navalny Nearly Released in Prisoner Exchange, Confidant Claims

Alexei Navalny, a Russian opposition leader, was reportedly on the verge of release through a prisoner exchange deal at the time of his death, according to his confidante Maria Pevchikh.
Despite his death certificate indicating natural causes, Pevchikh suggests President Putin had him assassinated.

Navalny, 47, passed away in an Arctic penal colony on February 16. The Kremlin has rejected claims of involvement in his death.

Pevchikh, in a YouTube statement, stated that discussions to trade Navalny and two unnamed Americans for Vadim Krasikov, a convicted Russian hitman in Germany, were nearly complete when Navalny died.

The U.S intends to repatriate Evan Gershkovich, a journalist, and Paul Whelan, a former Marine, but Pevchikh did not confirm their involvement in the purported swap.

She insisted that Navalny's release was imminent, citing conclusive negotiations on February 15. Pevchikh accuses Putin of orchestrating Navalny's death, unable to bear his potential freedom.

Efforts to extradite Navalny in exchange for Russian operatives, since the onset of the Ukraine conflict, have been immense, Pevchikh noted, citing attempts to engage intermediaries, including the late Henry Kissinger.

Nevertheless, she criticized Western officials for their inaction despite expressing concern over Navalny and other political detainees.
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