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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Putin critic & opposition leader Alexei Navalny, dies in Arctic jail

"Russian authorities publish a confession that they killed Alexei Navalny in prison"

Alexei Navalny, the prominent figure in Russia’s opposition, tragically succumbed on Friday following a stroll at the “Polar Wolf” Arctic penal colony where he was serving a lengthy sentence, as stated by the Russian prison authority. Navalny, aged 47 and a former lawyer, gained notoriety over a decade ago through his online platforms exposing what he deemed as extensive corruption and extravagance within Russia’s ruling class.

According to the Federal Penitentiary Service of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District, Navalny began feeling unwell after his walk at the IK-3 penal colony in Kharp, situated approximately 1,900 km (1,200 miles) northeast of Moscow within the Arctic Circle, swiftly losing consciousness thereafter. Despite prompt resuscitation attempts, Navalny’s condition did not improve, and the exact causes of his demise are currently under investigation.

A strong critic of Putin  

The Kremlin confirmed that President Vladimir Putin was briefed on Navalny’s passing, prompting a wave of condemnation from Western nations, many holding Putin’s administration responsible. Navalny’s supporters expressed disbelief, with some suggesting foul play in his demise.

“Russian authorities publish a confession that they killed Alexei Navalny in prison,” remarked Navalny’s associate Leonid Volkov on social media, reflecting the skepticism prevalent among Navalny’s allies.Navalny’s lawyer, Leonid Solovyov, refrained from immediate comment.

International leaders lauded Navalny’s courage in confronting the Russian regime. France’s Foreign Minister, Stephane Sejourne, characterized Navalny’s demise as a consequence of resisting Putin’s regime, while Norwegian officials held Russian authorities accountable for his death.

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In the wake of Navalny’s passing, the international community reflected on his pivotal role as Putin’s foremost domestic challenger. Despite being barred from contesting the 2018 presidential election, Navalny persisted in his efforts to challenge Putin’s rule through democratic means, leaving a void in Russia’s opposition landscape as Putin faces minimal opposition in the upcoming elections.