Authority Kremlin critic Navalny is dead

Authority: Kremlin critic Navalny is dead

Navalny “felt unwell after a walk and lost consciousness almost immediately,” the official said. Medical staff arrived at the scene immediately and an ambulance was also called. “Resuscitation measures were carried out which did not produce positive results,” the FSIN further stated. Kremlin-affiliated TV station RT reported that Navalny died from a blood clot that broke off. There is no official confirmation of this.

Navalny was sentenced to a total of 19 years in prison for alleged “extremism”, among other things. Internationally, however, the politician, who narrowly survived an assassination attempt using a nerve agent from the Novichok group in 2020, is classified as a political prisoner. Human rights organizations have long called for Navalny's release. At the end of 2023 he was transferred to a penal colony in the polar region.

Analysis: Navalny’s importance for the opposition

ORF Russia expert Paul Krisai spoke about the death of Alexei Navalny, the background and the importance that Navalny had for the opposition in Russia.

Widow calls for battle

Navalny's team said it has not yet received any confirmation of the opponent's death. His lawyer, Leonid Solovyov, told Kremlin-critical newspaper Novaya Gazeta: “I am not commenting in any way on the decision of Alexei Navalny’s family.” he said.

The penal colony where Alexei Navalny was housed

Portal Navalny has been imprisoned in the “Polarwolf” penal camp since the end of last year

Navalny's wife, Julia, also said she was unable to confirm the news of his death. “I don’t know if we should believe the terrible news we receive exclusively from Russian state sources,” she said Friday at the Munich Security Conference. “We cannot believe Putin and Putin’s government,” she added, “they always lie.”

If the news is true, Putin will have to answer for her husband's death, she said. Putin and his supporters must not go unpunished “for what they did to our country, to my family and to my husband”. The day they would be held accountable would come soon. “I want to call on the international community and every person in this room to come together and fight evil.”

TV Note

ORF2 changes its program and broadcasts a special ZIB about Navalny's death at 8:15 pm. ZIB2 starts at 10:15 pm and is extended by 15 minutes. This will be followed by the documentary “Nawalny”, by Canadian director Daniel Roher, at 11pm. The documentary can now also be seen on ORF ON and TVthek apps.

“I don’t want to hear any expression of condolences,” Novaya Gazeta quoted Navalny’s mother as saying. She added that she only visited her son in the prison camp on Monday: “He was alive, healthy and full of life.”

Kremlin: There is no information on the cause of death

The Russian presidential office says it has no information about the cause of Navalny's death. The prison authority is conducting all investigations, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. According to Russian state agencies, President Vladimir Putin was informed of the death of the opposition figure.

Video shows Navalny on Thursday

At the end of December, it became known that the 47-year-old had been transferred to the remote “Polarwolf” prison camp in the Yamal region, far from the center of power in Moscow. His supporters had already been searching for him for weeks because the Russian penal system had not provided them with any information about Navalny's whereabouts.

Shortly after news of Navalny's death broke, Russian independent media outlets published a video purporting to show the opposition activist during a court hearing on Thursday.

Just a day before his death, Navalny seemed “happy, healthy and cheerful” given the circumstances, Telegram channel Sota said on Friday. In the clip, which is about 30 seconds long, you can see Navalny talking and smiling. According to the media, he was connected to the court via video.

International terror

Internationally, Navalny's death was met with horror and harsh criticism of Putin's regime, sometimes with accusations directed at the Russian ruler. Austria called for a full investigation into the circumstances of the death. Navalny was internationally recognized as a political prisoner.

The US, EU and Austria have repeatedly called for the opposition politician's immediate release. But Russia rejected this as interference in its internal affairs. The Kremlin also said it could not worry about the fate of prisoners in Russia.