Poet and journalist critical of the Kremlin may have been poisoned by the FSB

Poet and journalist critical of the Kremlin may have been poisoned by the FSB

Russian writer, poet and journalist critical of the Kremlin Dmitry Bykov was likely the target of poisoning by the Russian intelligence agency FSB in April 2019. This was reported by research group Bellingcat on Wednesday based on its own research, in collaboration with the Russian platform The Insider and the German magazine. woman. It is possible that the possible poisoning of Bykov was carried out by the same medical and chemical unit of the Federal Security Service during the attempted assassination of opposition leader Alexei Navalny last year. Like Navalny, Bykov also survived possible poisoning.

Bellingcat, Insider Inn woman It found that the flights made by two specialized units of the FSB between May 2018 and April 2019 coincided with the flights of Bykov. In mid-April 2019, Bykov visited Siberian Novosibirsk on a lecture tour, where he was closely followed by two FSB agents traveling under secret identities. On the morning of April 14, customers returned to Moscow with a ticket they had reserved at the last minute, while Bykov continued his tour. He fell ill a few days later on a follow-up flight from Yekaterinburg to Ufa.

During that flight, Bykov started vomiting and soon after the plane landed, he lost consciousness. He ended up in a coma lasting five days and was initially diagnosed with cerebral edema. Under pressure from his colleagues, Bykov was eventually transferred to the Institute of Neurology in Moscow, where the exact cause of his neurological problems remained unclear. Bellingcat said doctors initially thought he had a stroke, and later added to it “unspecified brain damage.” According to CW experts consulted by the research group, Bykov’s symptoms at that time may have been due to poisoning with so-called organophosphates.

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Earlier, Bellingcat revealed that FSB agents specializing in covert operations and chemical warfare circulated around Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny for years before he was poisoned with novichok nerve agent last summer. Several of Navalny’s doctors treating in Russia denied that he had been poisoned. Only after international pressure was the politician transferred to a hospital in Berlin for specialized treatment, as doctors determined that he had contracted a nerve gas disease.

According to Bellingcat, the suspected Bykov poisoning bears many similarities to Navalny. For example, both men were pursued for a long time by the Federal Security Service, intelligence agents were in their vicinity shortly before the (suspected) poisonings, they showed the first symptoms on a plane, and the Russian authorities prevented the transfer of Kremlin critics from Russia. Hospitals for specialists.

Shading while traveling and then poisoning Kremlin critics is a method often used by the FSB against opponents. Earlier, Bellingcat determined that Vladimir Kara Moerza may also have survived two attempts of poisoning by the FSB. The possible attacks occurred in May 2015 and February 2017 and were carried out by the same medical-chemical unit within the FSB.

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