Putin's critic Alexei Navalny, 47, dies in Arctic Circle prison

Alexei Navalny, Russia’s key opposition leader for nearly a decade, has died in Arctic Circle prison at the age of 47, the prison service said.

Putin's critic Alexei Navalny, 47, dies in Arctic Circle prison






Putin’s critic Alexei Navalny, 47, dies in Arctic Circle prison

Navalny, considered President Vladimir Putin’s most vocal critic, was serving a 19-year prison sentence on charges considered politically motivated.

He was transferred last year to one of Russia’s toughest penal colonies.

The prison service in the Yamalo-Nenets district said Navalny suddenly “felt unwell” after taking a walk on Friday.

“He became unconscious almost immediately,” a statement said, adding that an emergency medical team was immediately called in and frantic efforts were made to revive him, but without success.

“Emergency doctors pronounced the inmate dead a short time later. The cause of death is being determined.”

Navalny, 47, was last seen a day earlier, looking good and laughing during a court hearing via video link.

His lawyer Leonid Solovyov told Russian media he would not comment immediately, although Navalny’s close associate Leonid Volkov wrote on his blog: “The Russian authorities have also published a confession that they killed Alexei Navalny in prison. “We have no way of confirming this or proving it’s not even true.”

Shortly after Navalny’s death was announced by the prison service, the international community praised the courage of Vladimir Putin’s biggest rival.

France said he paid with his life for his continued opposition to Russian “oppression”, while Norway’s foreign minister said Russian officials bore major responsibility for his death.

Mr Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said only that Navalny’s death had been reported “to the president”, who was on a visit to Chelyabinsk.
Most critics of the Russian president have fled Russia, but Alexei Navalny returned in 2021 after months of medical treatment. He was also poisoned with Novichok nerve agents at the end of a trip to Siberia .

His team was successful in taking him to Germany for specialist treatment and upon his return to Moscow he was taken into custody. He would never be released from prison again for the next 37 months.

Navalny, aged 47, had long been seeking to challenge Vladimir Putin at the ballot box, but was also barred from running in the 2018 presidential election. Next month, Russia’s leaders will be left unchallenged by any meaningful opposition.

Anti-war candidate Boris Nadezhdin was also banned from standing in the election due to alleged irregularities in the thousands of signatures submitted in support of his candidacy.

Navalny, whose first protests began as an anti-corruption campaign, is also the latest in a series of prominent Russian figures to die challenging Vladimir Putin’s rule.

video by Sky News –https://news.sky.com/video/alexei-navalnys-last-appearance-in-court-before-his-death-13073007

Opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was shot dead on a Moscow bridge a short distance from the Kremlin in 2015, and Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin died in an unidentified plane crash on 12 August 2023, weeks after leading his mercenaries in an armed rebellion. were found .

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By Raj

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