12 February 2021
by Vladimir Kara-Murza, chair of the Boris Nemtsov Foundation
It turns out that they are totally different feelings: to understand that they were trying to kill you (from the very beginning there were no doubts, either in the method or the reasons) and to see the concrete people who were trying to do it. Just as Bellingcat has now shown them —with photographs, names, places of work, and travel dates.
I don’t think that I can describe in words the gamma of emotions that I experienced yesterday. Especially when I, together with the co-authors of the investigation Christo Grozev and Roman Dobrokhotov, called one of the putative organizers of the murder attempt, senior officer of the FSB Service for the Defensc of the Constitutional Order Roman Mezentsev.
In a word, it is pure Orwell. The Service for the Defence of the Constitutional Order organizes political murders, and the FSB Criminalistics Institute (the so-called NII-2), whose job it is to uncover the use of chemical weapons, uses them itself to eliminate opponents of the current authorities.
Thank you to the journalists of Bellingcat and The Insider for their enormous work. In fact, they did what was supposed to be done by the Investigative Committee of the RF (which up to now has not even answered whether a criminal case has been brought based on the facts of two attempts on the life of a Russian citizen on Russian territory) and the American FBI (which has classified the results of the blood tests that were done).
It is important to emphasize that the evidence of poisoning presented in the Bellingcat investigation was not circumstantial but direct. If I had been followed around the regions only by subordinates of Mr Mezentsev, the authorities could have explained it as “simply surveillance.” But chemists don’t work shadowing people. The presence, during all my trips, of employees from NII-2 — including Konstantin Kudriavtsev, famous throughout the world thanks to Aleksei Navalny as an underwear specialist— unquestionably points to poisoning.
We really angered them with the “Magnitsky Law.” Which means we got it right. We continue to work.
Translated by John Tokolish