Putin Critic Alexei Navalny Dead at 47

(LibertySociety.com) – Less than two months after being relocated to a Russian penal colony, opposition leader Alexei Navalny has died. The country’s Federal Prison Service reported that Navalny felt ill after he went for a walk on February 16. Shortly after that, he lost consciousness and died. Navalny previously disappeared for nearly two weeks last December, with his attorneys reporting they had not heard from him in over six days. On December 26, he posted on X, formerly Twitter, letting his followers know that he was safe. His spokesperson confirmed that he was being held at the IK-3 penal colony, which is located 40 miles north of the Arctic Circle.

The Kremlin initially did not provide a comment about Navalny other than confirming that Russian President Vladimir Putin was notified of his death. President Biden said that although nothing definite had been confirmed, it was clear that Navalny’s death was because “of something that Putin and his thugs did.” Vice President Kamala Harris indicated that the Biden administration was still trying to confirm the authenticity of Russia’s reporting of his death. On February 20, a Kremlin spokesperson said that “Moscow does not accept such demands,” after the European Union called for an independent examination of Navalny’s body

Navalny nearly died of poisoning by a nerve agent in 2020. He was treated and recovered in Germany but went back to Russia to continue his work in 2021. He was arrested shortly after his arrival. He initially received a 9-year prison sentence but received another 19 years after being convicted on extremism charges in August 2023. Navalny’s wife, Yulia Navalnaya believes that her husband died from being poisoned by the same nerve agent as before. In a lengthy YouTube video on Navalny’s channel, she said that his body was being held to allow the traces of the poison to leave his system. According to a Russian independent news outlet, a paramedic claimed that Navalny had bruises on his head and chest upon arrival at Salekhard District Clinical Hospital.

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