Friday, April 19, 2024
    HomePoliticsAlexey Navalny, Putin's Political Nemesis, Died in Prison: Russian Officials

    Alexey Navalny, Putin’s Political Nemesis, Died in Prison: Russian Officials

    Alexei Navalny takes part in a march at Strastnoy Boulevard in Moscow, Russia.
    Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

    • The Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny has died in prison.
    • The 47-year-old was being held about 40 miles north of Arctic Circle.
    • He was an outspoken critic of Russian president Vladimir Putin.

    Alexey Navalny, Vladimir Putin’s fiercest political nemesis, has died suddenly at the age of 47, Russia’s prison agency said.

    The Federal Prison Service said Navalny felt unwell after a walk and almost immediately lost consciousness.

    Medics were called and tried to revive him, but he was quickly pronounced dead, a statement said. The reason for his death has not yet been established.

    Navalny was imprisoned in a detention facility about 40 miles north of the Arctic Circle, after being sentenced to 19 years in jail on charges widely seen as punishment for his opposition to the Russian president.

    For years, Navalny had been Putin’s most formidable domestic critic, criticizing what he characterized as the corruption and ineptitude of the Russian president and his inner circle.

    Whenever Putin spoke about Navalny, he made it a point to never mention him by name in an apparent effort to diminish his importance.

    Kira Yarmysh, Navalny’s spokesperson, said on X that Navalny’s death was not confirmed. “Alexey’s lawyer is currently on his way to Kharp. As soon as we have some information, we will report on it,” she said.

    Navalny’s chief of staff, Leonid Volkov, posted on X: “Russian authorities publish a confession that they killed Alexey Navalny in prison. We do not have any way to confirm it or to prove this isn’t true.”

    Navalny’s death brings with it an end to any powerful political opposition to Putin that still existed in Russia.

    In 2020, Navalny became ill on board a flight to Moscow from Tomsk, Siberia. He was taken to a hospital in Germany, where medical experts said he was poisoned with a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok family.

    At the time, Russia denied that Putin was behind the poisoning and refused to open a criminal investigation — a move that the European Court of Human Rights ruled violated Navalny’s rights.

    Navalny recovered in Germany for five months, before returning to Russia, where he was arrested in January 2021.

    This is a breaking news story. More to follow.



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