U.S. sanctions Russians over poisoning of Alexei Navalny

August 17, 2023

The Treasury Department on Thursday imposed sanctions on four Russians over the poisoning of imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny.  

According to a Treasury Department statement, the four men sanctioned were members of Russia’s intelligence agency, the Federal Security Service, or FSB: Alexey Alexandrovich Alexandrov, Konstantin Kudryavtsev, Ivan Vladimirovich Osipov and Vladimir Alexandrovich Panyaev. 

“Today we remind [Russian President] Vladimir Putin and his regime that there are consequences not only for waging a brutal and unprovoked war against Ukraine, but also for violating the human rights of the Russian people,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. 

Navalny was arrested in January 2021 upon a return to Russia from Germany, where he had just spent five months being treated for a poisoning he blamed on the Kremlin.

Authorities in Germany have said they have unequivocal proof that Navalny, an outspoken Putin critic, was poisoned by a nerve agent in 2020, though Putin has long denied Russia was involved in Navalny’s poisoning.

Nelson added in his statement, “The assassination attempt against Aleksey Navalny in 2020 represents the Kremlin’s contempt for human rights, and we will continue to use the authorities at our disposal to hold the Kremlin’s willing would-be executioners to account.”

Earlier this month Navalny was sentenced to an additional 19 years behind bars, on top the 11.5 years to which he had previously been sentenced.

In April of this year, Navalny said he suspected he’s being slowly poisoned by the food served to him at the Russian penal colony where he’s doing time. He made the claim after he began grappling with severe stomach pains. He’s been prohibited from bringing in outside food sources.  

The U.S. has called the charges against Navalny “unfounded” and has called for his immediate release.

The four sanctioned Russians had previously been sanctioned by the U.S., but were slapped with new penalties on Thursday under the Magnitsky Act, which allows the U.S. government to target those involved in extrajudicial killings and other human rights abuses.

Treasury said those sanctioned had “collaborated to surveil Navalny” ahead of the 2020 nerve agent attack, then they schemed to “break into his hotel room and apply the chemical weapon to his personal belongings.” 

The U.S. State Department has also imposed visa restrictions on Navalny’s four attackers. 

PHOTO: Alexei Navalny in 2011

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