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Russian opposition leader Navalny has died, prison service says

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Russia’s most significant opposition leader for the past decade, Alexei Navalny, has died in prison inside the Arctic Circle, the prison service said.

Seen as President Vladimir Putin’s most vociferous critic, Navalny was serving a 19-year jail term on charges widely considered politically motivated.

He was moved to an Arctic penal colony, considered one of the toughest jails, late last year.

The prison service in the Yamalo-Nenets district said he 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.”

Navalny’s lawyer Leonid Solovyov told Russian media he would not be commenting yet, although his 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.”

Within minutes of Navalny’s death being announced by the prison service, the international community hailed the courage of Vladimir Putin’s biggest domestic adversary.

France said he had paid with his life for resisting Russian “oppression” while Norway’s foreign minister said Russian authorities bore a great responsibility for his death.

Mr Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said merely that Navalny’s death had been “reported to the president”, who was on a visit to the city of Chelyabinsk.

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Source: Myjoyonline

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