Alexei Navalny, Russian dissident and bitter political rival of Vladimir Putin, has died. The Russian prison authorities broke the news.

According to the latest updates arrived in recent days by his spokeswoman, Navalny had once again been locked up in a punishment cell, for the 27th time since August 2022. And, again according to what his entourage reported, in the last year and a half the dissident spent over 300 days in a penalty cell.

Navalny was 47 years old. A lawyer and activist, in recent years he had founded the Russia in the Future party, running for office in opposition to Vladimir Putin and repeatedly denouncing corruption in the Moscow government and the denial of rights, organizing protest demonstrations and creating an opposition network very active on the web and social media.

Having ended up in the authorities' sights several times, he was accused and arrested for embezzlement and in August 2023 he was sentenced to 19 years in prison on charges of extremism.

In August 2020, Navalny was hospitalized in serious condition after being poisoned.

From what we understand, Navalny suddenly felt ill in the remote penal colony Number 3 , near the Arctic, almost 300 km from Moscow, where he was detained, dying shortly after. According to sources cited by Russia Today, Navalny died of a "thrombosis" .

Only three days ago, speaking in a video conference from abroad with a group of European diplomats in Moscow, Alexei Navalny's right-hand man, Leonid Volkov , said that the opponent was "in surprisingly good psychophysical conditions" and that he did not fear for his his life, ensuring that he "feels safe".

The news caused immediate reactions.

Navalny's wife, Julia Borisovna , spoke from the podium at the Munich Security Conference, saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin and others responsible for her husband's death " will be punished for what they did."

“The EU believes the Russian regime is solely responsible for the tragic death of Alexei Navalny,” declared the President of the European Council Charles Michel , while the President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola stated that “Navalny's fight for democracy will continue » even without him.

US President Joe Biden also points the finger at the Russian president, as does his Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.

«Navalny was killed and Putin will have to account for his crimes», thundered the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.

«The death of Alexei Navalny, during his detention, is another sad page that warns the international community . We express our heartfelt condolences and hope that this disturbing event will be fully clarified", stated Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni .

Moscow's response was immediate. “The immediate reaction of NATO leaders to Navalny's death, in the form of direct accusations against Russia, shows the nature of these countries,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on Telegram. Adding: "There is no forensic examination yet, but the West's conclusions are already ready."


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