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Death of Alexeï Navalny, live: the cause of his death unclear, Vladimir Putin held responsible


Alexei Navalny, the main Russian opponent of Vladimir Putin, died this Friday, February 16 in an Arctic prison while serving a 19-year prison sentence. The activist’s supporters consider the Russian regime responsible for the death.

The essential

  • Alexei Navalny, the main Russian opponent of Vladimir Putin, died this Friday, February 16 in a prison located in the Polar Circle, according to information from the Russian prison services.
  • “All necessary resuscitation measures were carried out but did not produce a positive result,” added the prison services, which indicated that “the causes of death are being established.”
  • The Kremlin’s number 1 enemy was serving a 19-year prison sentence after his conviction for “extremism”. The conditions of his detention had been criticized for several months by supporters and his lawyers.
  • Vladimir Putin was “informed” of the death of his opponent according to the Kremlin spokesperson. The president of Russia did not react, but other political leaders hold him responsible for the death, notably the president of Latvia, according to whom Alexeï Navalny “has just been brutally assassinated by the Kremlin”.

Live

14:26 – The President of the European Council points to the responsibility of the “Russian regime” in the death of Navalny

“The EU holds the Russian regime solely responsible for this tragic death,” writes Charles Michel on X. “Alexeï Navalny fought for the values ​​of freedom and democracy. For his ideals, he made the ultimate sacrifice” , believes the President of the European Council, concluding: “The fighters die, but the fight for freedom never stops.”

14:21 – Alexei Navalny’s lawyer is on his way to prison

Alexei Navalny’s spokesperson told AFP that she had not been informed of Alexei Navalny’s death. She also said that the lawyer for the opponent of the Russian regime immediately flew to Kharp, the location of the penitentiary center, to establish the truth.

2:17 p.m. – “A terrible tragedy,” responds the White House

Jake Sullivan, US national security adviser, believes that Navalny’s death, “if (it) is confirmed, is a terrible tragedy”. “Given the Russian government’s long and sordid pattern of harming its opponents, obvious questions arise about what just happened,” he added to NPR radio.

14:13 – For Zelensky, Putin is responsible for Navalny’s death

The Ukrainian president reacted at a press conference to the announcement of the death of Alexeï Navalny. He considers it “obvious” that the Russian opponent “was killed like thousands of others who were tortured to death because of a single person, Putin, who does not care who dies as long as he keeps his position”. The Russian president “will have to be held accountable for his crimes,” Zelensky said.

14:07 – Why was Alexei Navalny in prison?

The opponent of Vladimir Putin’s regime was serving a 19-year prison sentence in a penal colony in the Arctic region of Yamal. He was sentenced last August to 19 years in prison for “extremism”. A sentence which was added to several previous convictions, notably for embezzlement.

13:59 – Navalny’s death “reminds us of the reality of Vladimir Putin’s regime”, says Stéphane Séjourné

The Minister of Foreign Affairs is the first member of the French government to react to the news of the death of the Russian opponent. “Alexei Navalny paid with his life for his resistance to a system of oppression,” he wrote on Russian people, France presents its condolences.”

13:54 – “The causes of death” of Alexei Navalny “are being established”

“All necessary resuscitation measures were carried out but did not give a positive result,” specifies the Russian Prison Administration (FSIN) in its press release. “Emergency doctors noted the death of the patient. The causes of death are being established,” it says. A procedural investigation has been opened, says the Russian Investigative Committee.

13:49 – Famous Russian opponent Alexeï Navalny died in prison

The death of Vladimir Putin’s opponent was confirmed by the Russian Prison Administration (FSIN) this Friday midday. He was imprisoned in a penal facility in the Arctic region of Yamal. According to the FSIN, Alexei Navalny “felt unwell after a walk” and could not be resuscitated, despite the intervention of medical services. Follow all the new information and reactions.

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He was the Kremlin’s number one enemy. The Russian opponent of Vladimir Putin, Alexei Navalny, died in prison this Friday, February 16, 2024. The death of the man who was the main opponent of the President of Russia was confirmed by the Russian Prison Administration (FSIN). According to these services, the 47-year-old man held in a penitentiary center located in the Polar Circle “felt unwell after a walk” before dying despite the intervention of medical services, specifies the FSIN of the Arctic region of Iamal in a statement.

“All the necessary resuscitation measures were carried out but did not give a positive result. The emergency doctors noted the death of the patient. The causes of death are being established”, also specifies the press release from the services penitentiaries who assure that the man had not reported any health problems. A procedural investigation was opened after the death of Alexei Navalny, the Russian Investigative Committee said. Vladimir Putin was informed of the death of Alexei Navalny, according to Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov cited by the Russian news agency TASS. On the other hand, the opponent’s spokesperson indicated that she had not had confirmation of the death. She assures X that “Alexeï Navalny’s lawyer is flying to Kharp. As soon as we have information, we will communicate it”.

Russian regime held responsible for death of Alexei Navalny

Several heads of state reacted to the announcement of the death and some blame Russian power, even Vladimir Putin, for the death of Alexeï Navalny. The Russian government “bears a heavy responsibility” for this death according to Norwegian diplomacy. The President of Latvia declared that Alexeï Navalny “has just been brutally assassinated by the Kremlin”. In France, the first reaction is that of Stéphane Séjourné, Minister of Foreign Affairs, according to whom the Russian opponent “paid with his life for his resistance to a system of oppression”.

The causes of Alexeï Navalny’s death are not yet known, but several reactions from the Russian opponent’s supporters also accuse the Kremlin of having accelerated the politician’s death. His supporters have assured for several months that the Russian authorities were seeking to further isolate the political opponent in the run-up to the presidential election scheduled for March 2024. During his latest interventions on social networks, Alexeï Navalny had called for demonstrations everywhere in Russia during the presidential election, in particular by going to the polling stations at noon: “I like the idea that those who vote against Putin go to the polls at the same time, at noon. Noon against Putin” , he declared on.

Difficult detention conditions

Alexei Navalny was serving a 19-year prison sentence in an Arctic penal colony after being convicted of “extremism” in 2021. The man was arrested in January 2021 during his return from Russia after uconvalesced in Germany for a poisoning he blamed in the Kremlin. Since then, he has alternated stays in solitary confinement with strict conditions of detention. He had been transferred from the penal colony in the Vladimir region, located 250 kilometers east of Moscow, to where he was in the Arctic at the end of December. The media had little news and were unaware of the state of health of Vladimir Putin’s main opponent. Relatives of the activist and politician, such as Olga Prokopieva, denounced “very difficult conditions of detention where he cannot receive a letter, no family visits”. “It’s very complicated for his lawyers to see him. In addition, the climatic conditions in this region are very harsh, and will cause an additional blow to his morale,” she added, as reported franceinfo.

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