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Alexey Navalny’s death wasn’t directly ordered by Putin, WSJ reports

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Alexey Navalny’s February death in a remote Arctic prison camp likely wasn’t directly ordered by Vladimir Putin, despite Navalny’s outspoken criticism of the Russian president, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

Despite the suspicious circumstances of the opposition leader’s death, the outlet reported Putin may not have intended Navalny to be killed when he was.

The Journal, citing “people familiar with the matter,” reported that several US intelligence agencies, including the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the State Department’s intelligence unit, share this opinion.

None of the intelligence agencies cited by the Journal or the Pentagon have responded to requests for comment from Business Insider.

While the Journal reported US intelligence sources believe the timing of Navalny’s death — which occurred as his staffers claimed he was on the brink of being freed — wasn’t specifically intended by Putin, the outlet noted the Russian president is not entirely absolved of responsibility for Navalny’s death on the world stage, with analysts in Poland and some European intelligence agencies remaining skeptical of suggestions that Putin wasn’t involved, while Navalny’s allies remain insistent that the Kremlin orchestrated it.

Leonid Volkov, a Navalny ally, told the Journal, “The idea of Putin being not informed and not approving killing Navalny is ridiculous.”

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