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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny passes away, prison service says

Putin's greatest enemy collapsed during a walk in his jail near the Arctic Circle.

The federal prison service revealed on Friday that Alexei Navalny, regarded as Russian President Vladimir Putin's main political rival, had passed away while in custody.

Navalny was detained in Yamal, close to the Arctic Circle, in a maximum security prison colony.

The 47-year-old passed a month before the presidential election in which Putin is expected to strengthen his hold on power and prolong his more than two-decade tenure. According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, (it's obvious) that Putin assassinated him.

The countries of Europe also did not hesitate to suggest that Putin had a role in the tragedy. "Alexei Navalny gave his life in opposition to an oppressive system," stated French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné on X. According to Jan Lipavsk´y, the foreign minister of the Czech Republic, Navalny was imprisoned and tortured to death for standing up to Putin. In a statement, the Federal Penitentiary Service's Yamal Directorate described the circumstances surrounding his death.  

According to department spokespeople, on February 16, 2024, in Penal Colony No. 3, convict Alexei Navalny became ill after going for a stroll and nearly passed out right away.

“Medical personnel from the institution arrived promptly, and an ambulance crew was called. All necessary resuscitation measures were carried out, but unfortunately, they did not yield positive results. The emergency medical team pronounced the convict dead. The cause of death is being investigated,” the statement added.

Only on Thursday did Navalny seem to be in good health and spirits. Thus, this rapid fall was unexpected. In a video of a court proceeding that the independent Russian news outlet SOTA released, he joked about running out of money while incarcerated.

Additionally, Navalny's mother emphasised that there were no health issues. “I would like not to receive any sympathy. We visited with our son in the colony on February 12.” According to the Russian independent publication Novaya Gazeta, Liudmila Navalnaya posted on Facebook, "He was alive, healthy, and cheerful."

Navalny has been the most well-known opposition figure in Russia for a long time. As the Kremlin clamped down on opposition, Navalny was the only person who could still inspire Russians to take part in coordinated protests against the Kremlin.

He was poisoned with the nerve chemical Novichok in August 2020, and his supporters believe this was a state-sponsored attempt to assassinate him. He went into a coma. However, Navalny lived and returned to Russia in 2021 following medical treatment in Germany. 

He was detained the moment he landed at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow, and he has been in jail ever since. Maria Zakharova, the Russian foreign ministry spokesperson, refuted the automatic assumption that Putin killed Navalny.

"It is self-evident that NATO leaders' outright charges of Russia following Navalny's death were their first response. Western judgments have already been prepared, even if there hasn't been a forensic study yet," she stated. 

Putin was notified of Navalny's passing, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, but the president exhibited his characteristic lack of reaction by remaining mute.

At the Munich Security Conference, the opposition leader's wife, Yulia Navalnaya, said, "Maybe you've all seen the awful news coming today. I've been wondering if I should fly to see my kids or come here. Then I wondered, "What would Alexei do if he were in my position?" From the stage, she questioned. "I think he would be here on the stage."

"I want the government, Putin, and his allies to know that they will answer for the harm they have caused to my husband, our family, and our nation. And this moment is not far off. I want to call on everyone on the planet to band together to overthrow this terrible, wicked tyranny in Russia. Putin and this leadership both need to take personal accountability for all the horrible things they have done to our nation in recent years. 

People are placing flowers at memorials honouring those who perished in Soviet political repression in Russian cities. According to reports, a woman carrying a sign that read, "Alexei Navalny is killed," emerged in the city square of Murmansk, in the north of the country. "Vova, his blood is on your hands," she said, addressing Putin. 


According to media sources, Russian activists living abroad intend to hold protests this evening close to Russian embassies in several locations.

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