Putin critic Alexei Navalny dies in Arctic Circle jail, says Russia

Alexei Navalny

Alexei Navalny

Russia’s most significant opposition figure over the past decade, Alexei Navalny , passed away in an Arctic Circle prison, as confirmed by the prison authorities.

As President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest critic, Navalny was serving a 19-year sentence on charges of extremism, widely perceived as politically motivated. In late 2023, authorities had relocated him to one of Russia’s harshest penal colonies.

His wife, Yulia, implored the international community to intervene and hold the Russian regime accountable for Navalny’s demise.

Ivan Zhdanov, a prominent ally from the Anti-Corruption Foundation, expressed strong suspicions of foul play, suggesting Navalny’s death as a likely murder.


According to the prison service in Russia’s Yamalo-Nenets district, Navalny fell ill after a walk on Friday, rapidly losing consciousness. Despite immediate medical intervention, authorities could not revive him, and they are investigating the cause of death.

In the aftermath, Muscovites gathered to pay their respects at a memorial to victims of political repression near the Lubyanka, once the headquarters of the notorious KGB spy service.

Authorities cautioned against mass protests, leading to multiple detentions across Russia, including in major cities like Moscow, St Petersburg, Murmansk, and Nizhny-Novgorod.

Alexei Navalny , aged 47, last appeared well and jovial in a court hearing via video link just a day before his demise.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Yulia Navalnaya expressed her distress, casting doubt on the reliability of state sources and warning of consequences for Putin and his allies if the reports were true.

In his final Instagram post to his wife, Navalny reflected on their physical separation, underscoring his emotional proximity despite the distance. He leaves behind two children, Dasha, studying in the US, and Zakhar, still in school.

Lyudmila Navalnaya,

Navalny’s mother, Lyudmila Navalnaya, rejected condolences, affirming her son’s well-being during their last meeting in prison.

Leonid Volkov, Navalny’s close aide, highlighted the prison authorities’ statement as tantamount to an admission of guilt in Navalny’s death, despite the lack of confirmed details.

While Russian state TV provided minimal coverage, some reports speculated about a blood clot, a diagnosis refuted by Moscow specialist Alexander Polupan, emphasizing the necessity of a post-mortem examination.

The international community swiftly condemned Navalny’s death, with France and Norway holding Russian authorities accountable, and US President Joe Biden directly implicating Putin, citing it as further evidence of his regime’s brutality.

In response, Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, merely acknowledged the report, stating that the president had been informed and urging medical authorities to investigate.

UK Foreign Minister David Cameron underscored the gravity of the situation, condemning Putin’s regime in light of Navalny’s demise.

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