Navalny was to be traded for Russian hitman, close aide says

No one has verified Pevchikh's claims and the German government has declined to comment on the issue.

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Navalny was to be traded for Russian hitman, close aide says

MOSCOW, Feb 28: A special aide to Russian opposition leader Alex Navalny said the prisoner exchange deal for Navalny’s release had reached its final stage before his sudden death.

Navalny’s aide, Maria Pevchikh, claimed in a video that Navalny and two US citizens were supposed to be free in exchange for a Russian hitman, Vadim Krasikov. Krasikov is serving a life sentence in Germany for killing a former Chechen fighter.

Pevchikh said, “I received confirmation on February 15 that the deal was in the final stages and on the 16th I was informed that Navalny had passed away.”

No one has verified Pevchikh’s claims and the German government has declined to comment on the issue.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told CNN he did not know about such a deal that included a prisoner swap.

A Western official told CNN that discussions were ongoing to release Navalny and the US citizens, but no formal agreement had been reached.

The US State Department also declined to comment, and spokesman Matthew Miller said he had no knowledge of a potential prisoner swap deal.

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