Home » Russian Kremlin critic – Alexei Navalny died in custody – this is known – News

Russian Kremlin critic – Alexei Navalny died in custody – this is known – News

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Russian Kremlin critic – Alexei Navalny died in custody – this is known – News

What happened? According to Russian media reports, opposition politician Alexei Navalny, who was imprisoned in Russia, has died. The 47-year-old Kremlin critic has been in custody since 2021.

SRF shows documentary about Navalny

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On the occasion of the death of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, SRF will show the documentary “Nawalny – Poison always leaves a trace” on Saturday, February 17, 2024 at 11:10 p.m. on SRF 1. The film will also be available on Play SRF shortly afterwards.

Who announced Navalny’s death? Several Russian newspapers and news agencies cited the prison administration of the northern Yamalo-Nenets region, where Navalny was imprisoned. Putin had been informed. The state investigative committee has initiated proceedings. According to their own statements, the Russian opposition politician’s team has not yet received direct confirmation of his death, nor has his wife. Navalny’s lawyer is on his way to camp IK-3 north of the Arctic Circle.

Legend: In December, Navalny was transferred to a penal camp in northern Russia, which is considered one of the harshest penal institutions in Russia. Keystone /

How did Navalny die? The Jamalo-Nenets prison administration claims that Navalny felt unwell after walking outside and almost immediately lost consciousness. Navalny could not be revived. The exact cause of death is being determined. Alexei Navalny’s mother spoke in the Kremlin-critical newspaper Novaya Gazeta: She only visited her son in the prison camp last Monday. “He was alive, healthy and full of life.”

This is what the Russian prison authorities say

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(Translated from Russian by Reuters): “On February 16, 2024, in Penal Colony Number 3, prisoner Alexei Navalny felt unwell after a walk and almost immediately lost consciousness. The institution’s medical staff arrived immediately and an ambulance team was called. All necessary resuscitation measures were carried out, but they did not produce any positive results. The emergency services doctors declared the convict dead. The causes of death are currently being determined.”

How did Navalny fare in prison? It is clear that Navalny’s health deteriorated while in custody. He has been in prison since 2021 and was transferred to the “Polarwolf” penal camp in the icy north of the country last December. It is considered one of the harshest penal institutions in Russia. Navalny repeatedly filed lawsuits against the prison system to draw attention to the violation of his rights.

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Why was Navalny imprisoned? Navalny had received a total sentence of more than 30 years in prison on various charges, including fraud and extremism. He had always denied the allegations and described the authorities’ actions against him as politically motivated. Internationally he was considered a political prisoner. In 2020 he narrowly survived a nerve agent attack. Navalny accused Putin of being behind the assassination attempt.

Navalny’s fight against Putin

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Alexey Navalny gained notoriety for his tireless fight against corruption in the power apparatus under President Putin. His anti-corruption fund set up its own structures across the country, which brought political influence with it. But when Navalny’s supporters won political office, the leadership in Moscow responded by dismantling the network and banning it under the pretext of “extremism.”

Despite the escape of some of his team’s leading figures abroad, Navalny continued the fight against the criminal and mafia power structures from the Russian prison camp. Especially during Putin’s attack on Ukraine in February 2022, as a sharp critic, he not only denounced Russian war crimes, but also warned of Putin’s re-election, which, in his opinion, would lead the country to ruin.

Despite the risks of an assassination attempt, Navalny returned in January 2021 from Germany, where he had been recovering from poisoning with the nerve agent Novichok. In the same year he was awarded the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for intellectual freedom, which his daughter Dasha accepted.

How did Navalny’s supporters react? In Moscow, Navalny’s supporters laid flowers at a monument to victims of political repression. In a short-term speech at the Munich Security Conference, his wife Yulia Navalnaya called for a fight against President Vladimir Putin’s Russian power apparatus. “I would like to call on the entire international community to stand together and defeat this evil, this terrible regime that rules Russia today,” she said. At the same time, the 47-year-old emphasized that she had not yet received any direct confirmation of her husband’s death.

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International protests after Navalny’s death

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The global outrage over Navalny’s death is bringing people to the streets who blame Putin for the loss of the prominent opposition politician.

  • Berlin: Hundreds gather in front of the Russian embassy and shout slogans against Putin. Banners bear slogans like “Putin is a murderer.”
  • Zürich: Over 300 people spontaneously commemorated Navalny on Europaplatz. Posters with “Putin killed Navalny” are shown.
  • Geneva: Around 50 people gather on the Place des Nations, accusing Putin of being a “meurtrier sanguinaire” (bloody murderer). “Never give up” and “Poutine a tué Navalny” can be seen on posters.
  • Riga: Dozens protest in front of the Russian embassy, ​​lighting candles and holding up photos of Navalny and posters. Similar scenes in Tallinn, Estonia.

What are the reactions in Russia? “There is shock, disbelief and anger among the opposition,” says SRF Russia correspondent Calum MacKenzie. For many people in Russia, too, it is clear that Navalny was murdered by the Kremlin – after all, the Russian secret service had already tried that at least once. The news of his death was only worth a small report to the state media – which fits with the Kremlin’s treatment of the opposition politician, said MacKenzie.

This is what Navalny’s death means for the opposition

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“The Russian opposition has always been very fragmented, there have been many disagreements and it has always been very difficult to unite the Kremlin’s opponents,” says SRF correspondent Calum MacKenzie. Navalny was one of the few figures who was able to rally many different people behind him – even if he was controversial. But: “The possible successors from his organization are nowhere near as charismatic and capable of winning a majority as he is. The fragmentation of the opposition is therefore likely to increase again,” said the SRF Russia correspondent.

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