Opponents of Russian President Vladimir Putin have been disappearing in a pattern of strange and sudden deaths, and his biggest domestic adversary, Alexei Navalny, died after a sudden collapseAccording to Russian officials.

“In general, as a culture, Russians don’t believe in coincidences. But, in this particular case, there is a reason, even though we can’t definitively determine how Navalny died. Many analysts agree that Russian intelligence services were behind his death,” Rebecca Koffler, a strategic military intelligence analyst and author of “Putin’s Playbook,” told Fox News Digital.

“There is a specific intelligence tradecraft that dates back to the 1920s that the Soviets used to do so-called elimination. Enemies of the stateKoffler said. “The Soviets and now the Russians are also experts at covering their tracks and making the killing appear to be a natural or accidental death.

“Wet cases, which point to bloodshed, are a theory of targeted killings, including poisoning, executions by shooting in the back of the head, forced suicides – such as throwing themselves out of windows – in hiding. Mini-bomb explosions. In a box of chocolates … and other contrarian ways,” Koffler explained.

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Opposition to Russian opponents

People who died under mysterious circumstances during Vladimir Putin’s reign. (Getty Images/East2West/Fox News Digital)

Koffler argues that Putin is not shy about pointing out that the death of the opposition — whether a direct rival like Navalny or an ally challenging his authority. Eugenie Prigogne headed by Wagner – at his behest because “he wants us to know that his operatives are behind this operation.”

“He sends us subtle signals that are easily picked up by people who understand who Putin is and know the signature tactics of Russian intelligence,” Koffler said. For example, after the poisoning of (GRU officer) Sergei Skripal, Putin said in an interview with the Financial Times in June 2019 that ‘treason is the greatest crime on earth, and traitors must be punished. ‘

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“In 2010, when asked if he ever had to sign a decree to ‘eliminate enemies of the motherland abroad,'” Putin said, “the traitors will kick the bucket themselves – Whatever they get in return’. The 30 pieces of silver that were given to them, they will strangle them,” he added.

Navalny died last week after collapsing in prison in what prison officials claimed was a case of “sudden death syndrome,” but an anonymous paramedic claiming to work for the mortuary. Independent news outlet Novaya Gazeta told Europe that it had seen bruises on the body. The person is being held down during the seizure.

Prigozhin, who died when his plane suddenly exploded, killing him and everyone on board, and Navalny are two of the most high-profile examples of sudden deaths of Putin’s opponents, but during his reign Many examples have come up.


A site after a private jet reportedly carrying Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin and other passengers crashed in Russia’s northwestern Tor region on August 23, 2023. (Wagner Telegram account/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Boris NemtsovAnother major domestic rival, died before an opposition rally in 2015. A gunman from a passing car shot Nemtsov four times as he crossed a bridge outside the Kremlin. Putin offered condolences and called the death a “provocation” before ordering authorities to investigate.

Authorities eventually arrested five men who were sentenced to 11 and 20 years in prison for Nemtsov’s murder, but the Russian government has consistently refused to classify Nemtsov’s death as a political assassination.

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Anna Politkovskaya, a Russian-American journalist and human rights activist, was shot dead in the elevator of her Moscow apartment building in 2006. She regularly criticizes the Kremlin, particularly over its policies toward Chechnya. An investigation into his death failed to determine who ordered his death, and investigators ruled out the involvement of Moscow-backed Ramzan Kadyrov, who eventually became head of the Chechen Republic. took power.

Kadyrov also denied involvement. In the death of journalist Natalia Estemirova, who was abducted and murdered outside her home in Grozny in 2008. Chechnya restored Russian federal rule in 2009 and has been a staunch ally of Russia, speaking out in favor of Putin’s war against Ukraine and providing troops.

Navalny monument in Russia

People gather at the monument to Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, organized at the Monument to Victims of Political Repression, in St. Petersburg on February 16, 2024. (Olga Maltseva/AFP via Getty Images)

More recently, a large number High-profile Russian businessman dies In a series of freak accidents after speaking out against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Ravel Magnov, chairman of the oil company Lukoil, fell from a hospital window. Lukoil said Magnov died of illness, but Russian media and investigators determined he fell from a sixth-floor window.

Pavel Antov, known as Russia’s “Sausage King” and a local politicianAlso fell out of a window in late 2022. Authorities found him dead outside Hotel Sai International in Rayagada, India, just days after celebrating his 65th birthday. A traveling companion of Antoff also died in the hotel.

At least eight other Russian oligarchs died in mysterious circumstances in the first year of the attack, and international investigators suggested the deaths were suicides or assassinations in retaliation for opposition or corrupt links at Russian gas company Gazprom. can be

Koffler explained to Fox News Digital that the deaths, if done by intelligence, would always be “deliberately designed to be hidden so that no investigator could identify foul play.”

“They are generally considered ‘tragic accidents’, (which is) also part of the ideology,” he added.

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