Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny on Monday said he had duped a member of Russia's FSB spy agency into revealing that Navalny was poisoned with a toxin placed in his underwear.
"A week ago .. I sat down at the phone and started calling my killers. I spoke with one of them for 45 minutes," Navalny tweeted Monday. "Now we know a lot."
He also released a video Monday.
"I said before: This whole poisoning thing is cooler than a Hollywood movie," Navalny said in the video.
Navalny said he impersonated an aide working for a top FSB general and spoke to operative Konstantin Kudryavtsev, badgering Kudryavtsev to divulge details of the poisoning. Kurdrayvtsev said his associates from the FSB dripped the toxin Novichok to the "inner seams" of Navalny's blue boxer shorts, while Navalny was staying at the Xander hotel in the Siberian city of Tomsk.
Pretending to be "Maxim Ustinov," Navalny continued to bully the agent, demanding to know why the poisoning attempt failed.
Navalny, 44, a fierce critic of Russian president Valdimir Putin, became violently ill on an airplane Aug. 20, which made an emergency landing in the city of Omsk.
Kudryavtsev said if the plane had flown straight to Moscow, exposing Navalny to the toxin for another three hours, the poison may have been fatal.
"Well yes, if [Navalny] was in the air for longer and they did not land in such an abrupt way, possibly, things would have not gone the way they did," Kudryavtsev told him. "Meaning, if the medics did not aid him, if there was no ambulance at the airport and so on."
Kudryavtsev said FSB agents had disconnected CCTV cameras at the hotel and then deployed the poison to Navalny's underpants.
"We applied a solution so that, you know, no traces could be found," Kurdrayvtsev said.
Previous theories were that Navalny had been poisoned by drinking drugged tea or a cocktail.
The investigative news agency Bellingcat announced last week that it had uncovered eight FSB members involved with Navalny's poisoning.
Russian doctors initially said they could not determine what had caused Navalny's illness, and he was flown to Berlin in an induced coma. Doctors there determined he had been poisoned with a nerve agent.
Novichok is a class of chemical toxin created by the former Soviet Union that was found to have poisoned former double agent Sergei Skripal and his adult daughter in Salisbury, Britain, in 2018. The two recovered and Britain charged two Russians in the case.
In October, the European Union sanctioned several members of the Russian government for the Navalny poisoning.
On Thursday at a yearly news conference, Putin brushed off allegations that he had ordered the poisoning of Navalny, saying, "If someone wanted to poison him, they probably would have finished the job."