ALL NEWS

Putin says if Russia wanted to kill opposition leader Navalny, it would have ‘finished’ the job

Dec 17, 2020, 6:01 AM
Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses his annual press conference via a video link at the Novo...
Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses his annual press conference via a video link at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow on December 17, 2020, amid the ongoing coronavirus disease pandemic. (Photo by Alexey NIKOLSKY / SPUTNIK / AFP) (Photo by ALEXEY NIKOLSKY/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by ALEXEY NIKOLSKY/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images)

    (CNN) — Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed Thursday that opposition politician Alexey Navalny “is enjoying the support of the US special services,” adding that if Russian special services had wanted to kill him they would have “finished it.”

Putin’s comments came in response to a question at his annual press conference following an investigation by the investigative group Bellingcat and CNN, published Monday, which uncovered evidence that Russia’s Federal Security Service (the FSB) formed an elite team specializing in nerve agents that trailed Navalny for years.

Navalny was poisoned with the toxin Novichok in August and nearly died. He was taken to Berlin for medical treatment. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied any involvement in his poisoning.

“Listen, we know very well what this is… this is a legalization, not some investigation but the legalization of the materials of American special services,” Putin said Thursday.

“What, we don’t know that they are tracking location? Our special services know this perfectly well, the FSB officers and officers of other agencies know it. They use their phones where they deem necessary not to conceal their location. And if it’s like that — and it is — it means this patient in the Berlin clinic is enjoying the support of the US special services in this,” Putin said.

“And if that’s correct, then that’s interesting, then of course [our] special services need to keep an eye on him. But that doesn’t mean he needs to be poisoned, who needs him anyway? If [they] wanted to, they would’ve probably finished it,” Putin added.

“But in this case, his wife asked me, and I immediately gave the order to let him out of the country to be treated in Germany… This is a trick to attack the leaders [in Russia].”

Putin also described reports about Navalny as “implanted stories.”

“There is actually nothing surprising about the fact that these implanted stories are taking place. They have always been and will always be. This kind of informational confrontation is taking place. They were before,” he said.

Putin’s comments came a day after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said reports about the details surrounding the poisoning of opposition figure Alexey Navalny are “funny to read,” in an apparent reference to the CNN-Bellingcat investigation.

Putin held the lengthy press conference from his Novo-Ogaryovo residence in the Moscow region. A select group of socially distanced state media journalists, who had to undergo quarantine before attending, were in the room with him. Other journalists posed questions via video link from Moscow and elsewhere.

Putin urges mass vaccination

Earlier in the press conference, Putin — who is 68 — confirmed that he has not been inoculated with a Russian coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V, as it is yet to be recommended for people older than 60.

“The vaccines that are being circulated among the general population today are intended for people in a certain age group, and the vaccines have not yet reached people like me,” said Putin.

“I’m a law-abiding citizen in that matter, I listen to the recommendations of our specialists and so far haven’t taken it. But I will do it as soon as it becomes a possibility.”

Russia registered Sputnik V in August ahead of key large-scale Phase 3 trials necessary to establish the vaccine’s efficacy and safety, drawing skepticism both in Russia and internationally. According to the product description, the vaccine is recommended for use in people aged 18 to 60 and is not advised for people with a number of chronic diseases and health conditions.

“I think it’s necessary to [have mass vaccination], specialists across the world say that mass vaccination is one of the very few ways to overcome this pandemic, it should create population immunity,” Putin said. “And I repeat that our vaccine is effective and safe, so I see no reason not to vaccinate.”

Phase 3 trials are currently ongoing, but the country is already moving towards mass vaccination. The Russian Direct Investment Fund, which sponsored the vaccine’s development, said that more than 200,000 Russians had been inoculated as of December 14.

During the news conference, Putin also touched on production challenges faced by Russia, saying the country so far does not have enough “hardware” to manufacture the necessary amount of the vaccine and is working to increase the number of suitable production sites.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

Rep. George Santos leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference at the Capitol Hill Club on ...
Gregory Krieg, CNN

George Santos’ ex says congressman will never resign because ‘his ego is too big’

(CNN) — The former boyfriend of New York Rep. George Santos says the Long Island Republican facing growing calls to resign for extensively lying about his past will never do so, even as he faces multiple investigations, including into his finances. “His ego is too big. He’s not gonna resign. If they don’t find out something to get […]
5 hours ago
savings system right on the money...
Mark Jones

Economists are worried of a recession in 2023, financial expert weighs in

Many economists are fearing a recession in 2023 despite the U.S. economy ending last year better than expected.
1 day ago
The Utah Education Association is opposed to H. B. 215. The UEA says school choice and a teacher pa...
Devin Oldroyd

School choice bill is “limiting” public schools, UEA president says

Utah Education Association president Renee Pinkney says the controversial school choice bill is "weakening" and "limiting" public schools.
1 day ago
Spanish Fork High School in Spanish Fork is pictured on Friday March 12, 2021. Students at Spanish ...
Mark Jones

Concurrent enrollment provides students with options in Nebo School District

Programs such as concurrent enrollment can give high school students and their parents options.
1 day ago
artificial intelligence banjo...
Curt Gresseth

ChatGPT: Plagiarism super-tool for students or AI brainstorming generator?

Will the future of AI be the interactive chatbot ChatGPT helping cheaters ace exams and tests or a new tool to assist all students in learning?
1 day ago
FrontRunner...
Elizabeth Weiler

UTA board looks at FrontRunner expansion in Utah County

Utah County is the fastest growing county in the state so UTA is considering a number of expansions to their current FrontRunner and bus lines. 
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
Putin says if Russia wanted to kill opposition leader Navalny, it would have ‘finished’ the job