Russia's main opposition leader, Navalny, dies in prison, sparking outrage, questions - Ripples Nigeria
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Russia’s main opposition leader, Navalny, dies in prison, sparking outrage, questions



Alexei Navalny, Russia’s most prominent opposition leader for the past decade and President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest critic, has died in prison, according to an announcement from the Russian prison service.

This unexpected development raises serious questions about the circumstances surrounding his death and its potential impact on the already strained political climate in Russia.

Navalny, sentenced to a total of 19 years in jail on widely contested charges seen as politically motivated, was serving his sentence in a penal colony in Russia’s far north. The prison service in the Yamalo-Nenets district announced on Friday that Navalny had “felt unwell” after a walk and died later that day. However, the lack of further details and potential access to independent investigators immediately raises concerns about the cause of death and potential negligence or foul play.

The prison service in the Yamalo-Nenets district said Navalny had “felt unwell” after a walk on Friday.

He had “almost immediately lost consciousness”, it said in a statement, adding that an emergency medical team had immediately been called and tried to resuscitate him but without success.

“The emergency doctors declared the prisoner dead. Cause of death is being established.”

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Navalny, 47, was last seen only a day ago, looking well and laughing during a court hearing via video link.

“I don’t want to hear any condolences,” his mother was quoted as saying. “We saw him in prison on 12th [February], in a meeting. He was alive, healthy and happy.”

His lawyer Leonid Solovyov told Russian media he would not be commenting yet, although Navalny’s close aide Leonid Volkov wrote on X: “Russian authorities publish a confession that they killed Alexei Navalny in prison. We do not have any way to confirm it or to prove this isn’t true.”

Throughout his career, Navalny exposed corruption among Russian officials, including high-ranking figures within the Kremlin. His anti-corruption campaigns resonated with many Russians, particularly the younger generation, but also attracted retaliation from the Putin regime. His imprisonment and now his death will undoubtedly be seen as a turning point in Russia’s political landscape, potentially fueling dissent and raising questions about human rights abuses.

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