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Alexei Navalny death: Putin critic dies in Russian prison as Kremlin accused of ‘brutal murder’ – latest

Navalny detained by Moscow police

The Kremlin is being accused of a “brutal” assassination after Vladimir Putin’s fiercest critic, opposition leader Alexei Navalny, died in jail at the age of 47.

World leaders reacted with outrage to the announcement by the Siberian prison service, where the prominent anti-corruption activist had been serving his sentence. US secretary of state Antony Blinken said Mr Navalny’s death “underscores the weakness and rot at the heart of the system that Putin has built”.

The prison service said Mr Navalny felt unwell after a walk on Friday, and “almost immediately lost consciousness”. It said medical staff had been called, but that they were unable to resuscitate him. It said the reason of death was being established.

The opposition politician had become the leading figurehead for the opposition against Vladimir Putin in Russia, organising anti-Kremlin protests and serving several stints in jail. He first came to prominence as blogger in 2010, publishing investigations into corruption in Russia.

As Mr Navalny’s team sought confirmation of his death and warned against Kremlin “propaganda”, Latvian president Edgars Rinkevics was among those who noted that his death would amount to being “brutally murdered by the Kremlin”.

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Navalny tricked Russian spy into revealing which item of clothing poisoned him

A resurfaced video clip shows Mr Navalny tricking a spy into revealing how he was poisoned:

Alexei Navalny tricks Russian spy into revealing which item of clothing poisoned him

Watch the moment Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny tricks a spy into revealing which item of clothing poisoned him. The clip, from a special BBC documentary that aired in April 2022, resurfaced after the jailed Putin critic, 47, was confirmed dead by the Siberian prison service on Friday (16 February). In what he was told was a debriefing, the spy revealed Navalny was poisoned with the lethal nerve agent Novichok planted in his underpants. The agent was not speaking to an official in Russia’s National Security Council as he thought. He was talking to Navalny himself.

Jane Dalton16 February 2024 13:33

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Blinken says Russia is responsible for death

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has placed blame for the death squarely on the shoulders of Russian president Vladimir Putin, leading a string of world leaders who have reacted in horror to the news.

Jane Dalton16 February 2024 13:32

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Putin murdered Navalny slowly, says Garry Kasparov

Another high-profile Vladimir Putin critic, former chess champion-turned-political activist Garry Kasparov, said the Russian president had tried to poison Mr Navalny.

“Putin tried and failed to murder Navalny quickly and secretly with poison, and now he has murdered him slowly and publicly in prison,” he wrote on social media.

“He was killed for exposing Putin and his mafia as the crooks and thieves they are. My thoughts are with the brave man’s wife and children.”

Jane Dalton16 February 2024 13:28

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My son was healthy and happy on Monday, says Navalny’s mother

The mother of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was quoted by a Russian newspaper as saying her son had been alive, healthy and happy when she last saw him on Monday.

Novaya Gazeta reported that Lyudmila Navalnaya wrote in a Facebook post: “I don’t want to hear any condolences. We saw him in prison on the (Feb) 12, in a meeting. He was alive, healthy and happy.”

Jane Dalton16 February 2024 13:25

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Navalny death ‘underscores weakness and rot at heart of Putin’s system’, says Blinken

US secretary of state Antony Blinken has said that Alexei Navalny’s reported death “underscores the weakness and rot at the heart of the system that Putin has built”.

He said: “Russia’s responsible for this. We’ll be talking to the many other countries concerned about Alexei Navalny, especially if these reports turn out to be true.”

Andy Gregory16 February 2024 13:04

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Lib Dems calls on PM to sanction all those on the Navalny List

Lib Dem leader Ed Davey has urged the government to sanction all those on the Navalny List.

He said: “I am horrified by reports of the death of Alexei Navalny – at the hands of Putin, no doubt.

“Putin’s despicable methods might be to kill his enemies, but he will never kill the light of freedom and democracy which Navalny has stood for so courageously.

“The UK government still hasn’t sanctioned all those named on the Navalny List, three years on from him being sentenced to prison. Nearly 1 in 5 of those named on the list remain unsanctioned. We must do so immediately.”

Andy Gregory16 February 2024 12:50

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Putin assassinated Navalny, says Kremlin critic

Speaking to The Independent, Bill Browder – a Putin critic who has felt the threat from the Kremlin himself – said: “Let’s make no mistake, Putin assassinated Alexei Navalny.

“He did so because Alexei Navalny was brave enough to stand up to Putin. He did so because Navalny offered the Russian people and alternative to kleptocracy and repression. This is a tragic day for Navalny and his family but also for Russia and the hope for a better future.”

Andy Gregory16 February 2024 12:40

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Alexei Navalny and wife share final kiss before Putin critic dies in prison

Alexei Navalny and wife share final kiss before Putin critic dies in prison

Andy Gregory16 February 2024 12:39

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World leaders react to reported death of Russian opposition leader

Rishi Sunak described the reported death of Alexei Navalny as “terrible news”, adding: “As the fiercest advocate for Russian democracy, Alexei Navalny demonstrated incredible courage throughout his life.”

Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said he was “deeply saddened and disturbed” by the news.

“We need to establish all the facts, and Russia needs to answer all the serious questions about the circumstances of his death,” he warned.

Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky went further, saying it was “obvious” Vladimir Putin was directly behind the death.

Our politics and Whitehall editor Kate Devlin has full report here:

Andy Gregory16 February 2024 12:38

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‘We have no reason to believe Kremlin propaganda,’ says Navalny’s chief of staff

Responding to the Russian authorities’ announcement that Alexei Navalny has died in prison, the Kremlin critic’s chief of staff said: “We have no reason to believe state propaganda.

“If this is true, then it is not ‘Navalny died’, but ‘Putin killed Navalny’ and only that.

“But I don’t trust them one penny.”

And his spokesperson Kira Yarmysh said: “We don’t have any confirmation of this yet. Alexei’s lawyer is now flying to Kharp. As soon as we have any information, we will report it.”

Andy Gregory16 February 2024 12:29


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