According to the New York Times report, Bellingcat, an investigative journalism group, Russian detectives about the poison were with opposition leader Aleksey Navalny when he was exposed to the toxins.
In partnership with CNN, German news site Der Spiegel and Russian news site The Insider, Bellingcat discovered an operation to make Navalny trail under the leadership of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB).
Bellingcat found telephone records with geolocation data, passenger manifest, and residential data indicating communication between SC signals, a unit believed to be involved in the development of nerve agents, and the FSB.
As noted by the New York Times, the report states that three FSB officials followed in August from Navalny to Siberia. Telephone records reveal that they had trapped him in the city of Tomsk where further data suggests that an agent was not far from the hotel where Navalny and his team stayed on 20 November.
Later, Navalny starts screaming in pain while getting on a plane, which causes her to take off. He would soon fall into a coma.
Navalny was allowed to travel to Germany for treatment in August and was released from the hospital the following month. Hospital physicians indicated that a complete recovery was possible for Navalni, but the long-term effects of the poison were not yet known.
A senior German security official confirmed to The Times that the information in Bellingcat’s report was accurate. The same official said that the German government had long known who was guilty of naval poisoning.
Putin has reportedly suggested to other world leaders that the poisoning was staged by Navalny. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov suggested that Navalny was poisoned in Germany or on his way to Berlin to receive treatment.