Russian opposition leader dead in prison

Published 16 February 2024
- By Editorial Staff
Alexander Navalny in Moscow, 2020.

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny has died suddenly at the penal colony in the northern Ural Mountains where he is being held, according to a press release from the Russian Prison Service.

The press release is not available at the time of writing but is referred to by the Russian news agency RIA.

According to the report from the Federal Penitentiary Service, Navalny complained about his well-being after a walk and lost consciousness almost immediately afterwards. Doctors at the prison colony in the Jamalo-Nentsien region reportedly tried to revive him but failed. The cause of death is speculated to be a blood clot but is said to be undetermined.

Navalny was serving a 19-year sentence for, according to the court, “rehabilitating Nazi ideology” and “inciting extremist activity”. The sentence has been described by critics as politically motivated in practice.

The opposition politician was a high-profile critic of incumbent President Vladimir Putin and made allegations of corruption. Navalny himself was also convicted of corruption in several high-profile trials that were also suspected of being politically motivated.

The Russian Ministry of Justice labeled Navalny as a “foreign agent” and his organization FBK as an “extremist” and “undesirable” organization in the country.