Russian Opposition Leader And Outspoken Putin Critic Alexei Navalny Dies In Prison: Reports

Russian opposition leader and a Vladimir Putin critic Alexei Navalny has reportedly died in prison.

Jailed Russian Opposition Leader Navalny

Alexei Navalny(47) who was an outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin and fought against government corruption and organized large-scale protests against the Kremlin, has passed away in prison on Friday, as announced by Russia's prison agency.

The Federal Prison Service said in a statement that Navalny felt unwell after a walk on Friday and lost consciousness. An ambulance arrived to try to rehabilitate him, but he died.

Navalny's spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that the politician's team had no confirmation of his death so far and that his lawyer was travelling to the town where he was held.

Why was Navalny imprisoned?

Navalny, previously imprisoned for 19 years on extremism charges, was transferred in December from his original jail in the Vladimir region of central Russia to a high-security special regime penal colony located above the Arctic Circle.

As per an Associated Press report, his allies decried the transfer to a colony in the town of Kharp, in the Yamalo-Nenets region about 1,900 kilometers (1,200 miles) northeast of Moscow, as yet another attempt to force Navalny into silence.

The remote region is notorious for long and severe winters. Kharp is about 100 kilometers (60 miles) from Vorkuta, whose coal mines were part of the Soviet gulag prison-camp system.

Navalny had been behind bars since January 2021, when he returned to Moscow after recuperating in Germany from nerve agent poisoning that he blamed on the Kremlin. Before his arrest, he campaigned against official corruption, organized major anti-Kremlin protests and ran for public office.

He had since received three prison sentences, all of which he rejected as politically motivated.