Venediktov suspected Navalny’s associate of working for the FSB
Surrounded by Alexei Navalny, he is an agent of Russian intelligence who manipulates the actions of his associates and influences the making of wrong decisions that discredit Navalny himself. This was said by the former head of the radio “Echo of Moscow” Alexei Venediktov in an interview with Ksenia Sobchak. He added that he suspected Maria Piewczyk, head of the investigative department of the liquidated Anti-Corruption Foundation, of working for the security forces.
“All people who have something to do with the history of the secret services have studied that any opposition structure, especially a very dangerous one in terms of power – and Navalny is dangerous – is infiltrated by agents,” Venediktov assures.
According to Venediktov, he talked about the “mole” several times with Navalny himself, but the politician did not believe him. As an example of an incarcerated agent, the journalist cited the drainage of Navalny’s supporter base, which was published on the Internet in April 2021. At that time, Venediktov suspected Leonid Volkov, the former coordinator of Navalny’s regional command, of working for the special services.
“I watched him very carefully. In 2014-15, there were many questions about his activities. Then there were stories with these activist lists that everyone was telling him about. We all said: “You can’t collect personal data, it will fall into the hands of the secret police.” He resisted, persuaded Navalny, a list was made and fell into the hands of the Okhrana, ”summed up Venediktov. However, now he dropped his suspicions about Volkov and apologized.
Speaking about suspicions about Pevchikh, Venediktov called her biography “ambiguous”, pointing to the gaps in it. He noted that he only learned about her work at FBK after Navalny was poisoned, and suggested that as a member of his close circle of associates, she could influence his decision to return to Russia.
Venediktov’s suspicions are due to the lack of information about Piewczyk in social networks and the refusal of Moscow State University to acquaint him with the thesis that she defended with the ideologue of the “Russian world” Alexander Dugin. Both with a diploma and a certificate of full general education, they refused to show him, citing the protection of personal data. It also struck him as odd that, while a student, Pevchikh had just returned from the UK in 2010 and immediately became the head of the Russian youth delegation to the G8 summit.
“An unknown girl comes from England, becomes a leader, represents the Russian Federation as an “understudy”. […] I looked at all the G8 “understudies”: they all have a huge life on social networks, so it’s already 2008, social networks are important. There is nothing, not a single account, ”said Venediktov.
In February 2023, information about Piewczy’s expedition to the summit was removed from the MSU website.
Venediktov shared his suspicions about the intelligence agents surrounded by Navalny in 2021. Then the politician was detained after returning to Russia from Germany, where he was treated for the effects of poisoning with a nerve agent.
“Navalny was lured to Russia by special services. […] I suspect three people. I told Navalny about this before I left. There are people around him whose lives have been erased with an eraser. We don’t know anything about them until they became associates of Navalny, ”said the journalist at the time.