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‘Single punch to the heart’ may have killed Putin’s critic: report

‘Single punch to the heart’ may have killed Putin’s critic: report

New Delhi: A human rights activist has claimed an old method of Soviet-era intelligence agency KGB may have been employed to kill Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Navalny died suddenly a week ago in the Arctic penal colony while serving sentences for more than 30 years.

Vladimir Osechkin, founder of the human rights group, reportedly alleged Navalny may have been killed with a single punch to the heart.

"It is an old method of the KGB's special forces divisions," Vladimir Osechkin told the Times of London citing a source at the penal colony.

‘They trained their operatives to kill a man with one punch in the heart, in the center of the body. It was a hallmark of the KGB,’ Osechkin was quoted as saying.

The Soviet-era internal security service was officially dissolved on December 3, 1991, before setting up in Russia the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), which would subsequently become the Federal Security Service (FSB).

Osechkin claimed that the 47-year-old had been kept outdoors in subzero temperatures to weaken his body, before the fatal punch.

‘I think that they first destroyed his body by keeping him out in the cold for a long time and slowing the blood circulation down to a minimum,’ Osechkin claimed.

Further citing a source working at the prison, Osechkin said ‘And then it becomes very easy to kill someone, within seconds, if the operative has some experience in this.’

Meanwhile, a paramedic revealed to an independent news outlet that Alexei Navalny’s body had ‘ signs of bruises’.

Navalny’s body was ‘taken to a clinical hospital for some reason’, rather than taking to the Foreign Medicine Bureau as in the case of those die in prison, according to the paramedic.

Russian authorities told Navalny’s his mother that his body would be buried in the penal colony unless she agreed to bury him without public funeral, Russian opposition leader’s team claimed.

Navalny's mother Lyudmila kept demanding authorities to hand over his body to allow his friends, family and supporters to pay their respects.

Meanwhile, Russian authorities vehemently rejected the accusation by Navalny’s supporters that he was killed.

Alongside years of harsh prison life including solitary confinement, Navalny had survived a poisoning attempt in 2020.

Navalyn’s window Yulia Navalnaya on Saturday demanded authorities to release his body , while accusing "demonic" Putin of "torturing" his corpse.

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