Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has claimed that the Kremlin sought to kill him by placing poison in his underwear.
Navalny presented audio recordings with a man named Konstantin Kudryavtsev, who he said was a chemical weapons expert with the Federal Security Service, the principal security agency of Russia.
“I called my killer. He confessed everything,” Navalny said on Twitter, a claim rejected by the FSB.
Navalny said he disguised his phone number and presented himself as an aide to Security Council chief Nikolai Patrushev, saying he needed information for an official report on the attempted poisoning.
During that call the person believed to be Kudryavtsev said that his unit had not expected the pilot to make an emergency landing in Omsk.
He said that if the flight had been allowed to continue, Navalny would not have survived. In the recorded comments, the agent said an attacker had placed the poison along the inner seams of a pair of Navalny’s underwear.
He detailed how he and another FSB agent had flown to Omsk after the poisoning and removed any trace of the poison. However, Kudryavtsev never explained his exact role in the operation.
The opposition leader published an audio recording and a transcript of the phone call and released a video of him conducting the conversation in a blog post.
He said that voice analysis “would demonstrate that it is indeed” Kudryavtsev speaking.
Meanwhile, the FSB described the phone call as a “provocation aimed at discrediting” the agency.
It said that the phone conversation “about the alleged actions against” Navalny would not have been possible without “the support of foreign intelligence services,” adding that the video the Kremlin critic published of the call was ”fake”.
Navalny, 44, fell violently ill during a flight from Siberia to Moscow in August and was hospitalised in the Russian city of Omsk before being transported to Berlin by medical aircraft.