Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny found Dead in Russian Prison

Aleksei A. Navalny died in prison, the Russian authorities said. The anticorruption campaigner rose to become the most prominent critic of President Vladimir V. Putin.

According to the New York Times, Mr. Navalny’s spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh, said on social media that his team could not immediately confirm his death and that a lawyer was traveling to the remote town where the prison is. “As soon as we have any information, we will report it,” she said.

“You’re not allowed to give up. . . .”

Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service said in a statement that Navalny had died after feeling unwell following a walk Friday.

“On February 16, u2024, in penal colony No. 3, convict A.A. Navalny felt unwell after a walk, almost immediately after losing consciousness,” the prison service for the Yamalo-Nenets region, where Navalny was moved, said in a statement on its website. “The facility’s medical workers immediately arrived at the scene and an emergency medical team was called in. All necessary resuscitation measures have been carried out, but they did not yield positive results. Emergency medics confirmed the death of the convict,” the statement added.

Ursula von der Leyen is the President of the EU Commission

Last August, a court handed Mr. Navalny a new, 19-year sentence on charges of supporting “extremism,” and in December he disappeared for three weeks as the Russian authorities transferred him to a remote penal colony in the Arctic. He was last seen publicly on Thursday, when he appeared via video link in a court hearing.

From the NYT: Ivan Zhdanov, one of Mr. Navalny’s top aides, called what appears to have happened to Navalny a “political murder in its purist form” by Russian President Vladimir V. Putin.

President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, told Russian journalists that statements by Western officials that the Kremlin was to blame for Navalny’s death were “absolutely unacceptable” because “there is no information about the cause of death.”

Per NBC, Navalny’s death leaves Russia’s opposition, wounded by years of harassment and prosecution, without a clear leader. All of Putin’s most high-profile critics are now either dead, jailed or in exile. Navalny was, undoubtedly, the biggest thorn in the Kremlin’s side.

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