Russia’s Main Opposition Leader, Alexei Navalny, Has Sadly Died

( – On Feb. 16, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s domestic opponent Alexei Navalny, 47, died in the “Polar Wolf” Arctic penal colony.

Navalny, who was serving a three-decade prison sentence, complained of feeling unwell after a walk he took at the IK-3 penal colony in Kharp. He then became unconscious and died not long after.

His death comes one day after he was seen on video during a court appearance, where he looked healthy and joked with the judge.

He became well-known over a decade ago after he documented and spoke publicly about what he called “the vast corruption” among the “crooks and thieves” that run Putin’s Russia. He was first convicted in 2014 for promoting “extremism.” In January 2021, he was convicted of parole violations related to his 2014 conviction and sentenced to serve 32 months. Then, in March 2022, he was convicted of fraud and contempt of court and sentenced to serve nine years at a high-security prison. However, in August 2023, the sentence was extended by 19 years, and he was transferred to the prison in Kharp.

The news of Navalny’s death broke while world leaders, including his wife, Yulia, were attending the Munich Security Conference in Germany. His wife told those in attendance at the conference that because “Putin and his government… lie incessantly,” she was unsure if her husband was dead.

Vice President Kamala Harris called his death “terrible news,” adding that his death is another sign of “Putin’s brutality.” While President Joe Biden and other leaders of Western countries blamed Navalny’s death on “something that Putin and his thugs did.”

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Navalny was “persecuted, poisoned and imprisoned” by the Russian government for years.

Navalny was critical of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and, just one month after the war started, called Putin a “madman.” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was one of the leaders who responded to the news of his death, calling it “obvious” that Putin had killed Navalny.

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