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Russian authorities announce Alexei Navalny’s death in prison

Navalny’s spokesperson, Kira Yarmysh, hasn’t confirmed his death, while Kremlin representative Dmitry Peskov states Putin is informed
Alexei Navalny (Image: vladtime.ru)
Alexei Navalny (Image: vladtime.ru)
Russian authorities announce Alexei Navalny’s death in prison

The Federal Penitentiary Service in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug has reported the death of Alexei Navalny. BBC has yet to reach representatives of the political figure. Navalny was serving a 19-year sentence in a high-security prison in the town of Kharp beyond the Arctic Circle, following Russia’s full-scale invasion and subsequent deoccupation by Ukraine’s forces in September 2022. The Kremlin has been informed of Navalny’s death.

Russian authorities claim Navalny, after a walk on February 16, 2024, in Correctional Colony No. 3, felt unwell, almost immediately losing consciousness. According to them, the prison’s medical team and an ambulance were summoned, conducting resuscitation measures but were unsuccessful. Medical professionals from the ambulance declared Navalny’s death, with the cause to be determined.

“On February 16, 2024, in correctional colony No. 3, convicted Navalny A.A. after the walk I felt unwell, almost immediately losing consciousness,” the FSIN said in a statement. “All necessary resuscitation measures were carried out, but did not yield positive results. Emergency doctors confirmed the death of the convict. The causes of death are being established,” the report says (quotes from Interfax).

Navalny’s spokesperson, Kira Yarmysh, registered as a “foreign agent,” has not confirmed the information about the politician’s death, stating that their team is awaiting further details as Navalny’s lawyer flies to Kharp.

“The Federal Penitentiary Service in the Yamalo-Nenets District is spreading the news about the death of Alexei Navalny in IK-3. We don’t have any confirmation of this yet. Alexey’s lawyer is now flying to Kharp. As soon as we have any information, we will report it,” she said in a statement published by Navalny’s associates.

“By decision of Alexei Navalny’s family, I am not commenting on anything at all. Let’s figure it out now. Alexey had a lawyer on Wednesday. Everything was fine then,” Navalny’s lawyer Leonid Solovyov told Novaya Gazeta.

Dmitry Peskov, a representative of the Kremlin, confirmed that Vladimir Putin has been briefed on Navalny’s death, and the Federal Penitentiary Service is conducting investigations in line with existing protocols.

“As far as we know, now, with all the current rules, the FSIN is engaged in all checks, clarification, and so on. No instructions are required here, because there is a certain set of rules in this regard that the FSIN is now guided by,” Peskov told reporters.

Navalny’s recent legal troubles include a 27th stint in a punitive isolation unit on February 14, 2024, totaling 308 days in the Special Regime Colony, according to Yarmysh. Human rights defender Eva Merkacheva suggests that the prolonged stays in harsh conditions may have contributed to Navalny’s health deterioration.

The regional public monitoring commission reported no health complaints from Navalny, and investigators are currently conducting a procedural check regarding his death in the prison, according to the Investigative Committee of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug.

On January 10, Navalny was connected via video link from a new colony in Yamal for the first time after a long break to participate in a court hearing. This was the politician’s first appearance on screen since the beginning of December, when he was transferred to a colony in the Arctic Circle.

The source of the propaganda RT claims that Navalny allegedly lost a blood clot. “Is there any information that the blood clot has broken off?” – Peskov was asked. “I don’t know. The doctors must find out somehow,” he replied.

International leaders, including Latvian President Edgar Rinkevich and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, have expressed shock and condolences, with European Council President Charles Michel holding the Russian regime solely responsible for Navalny’s death.

In August of the previous year, Moscow City Court sentenced Navalny to 19 years in a high-security prison on charges related to an “extremist case,” subsequently transferring him to a special regime colony in Vladimir Oblast.

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