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Photo Credit: Emmi Korhonen/Lehtikuva/AP

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny dies in Moscow prison

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny died Friday in a Northern Russian penal colony. Prison authorities report that Navalny “felt unwell… almost immediately losing consciousness” after a brief walk. His wife, Yulia Navalnaya, called on “all people of the world” to demand justice for her husband’s death. She continued to say, “We should fight this horrific regime in Russia today.” Supporters of the Russian opposition gathered at Russian embassies across the globe to protest the unjust death.

The Kremlin has denied any involvement. “There is no statement from medics, no information from forensic experts, no final information from the FSIN, no information about the cause of death,” said Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov. “And such statements are coming.” While the Kremlin scrambles for damage control, U.S. President Joe Biden and European leaders remain firm in their beliefs.

President Joe Biden spoke in a press conference this morning and shared that he is “Not surprised and outraged” by Navalny’s death. “Even in prison, he was a powerful voice for the truth.” Navalny faced persecution in Russia for standing up against the regime and believing in the truth. Navalny was poisoned in a 2020 assassination attempt but continued to live in Russia and advocate for political reform. The Kremlin has no patience for dissent or independent media in Russia; broad censorship laws and long, harsh prison sentences are commonplace under Putin’s presidency.

With no hesitation, Biden stated “Make no mistake: Putin is responsible for Navalny’s death.”

Biden told reporters that it is unclear whether Navalny was assassinated or not, but that he is certain that Putin and his “thugs” were behind Navanly’s death. He praised the deceased for his unwavering commitment to fighting for a free Russia, a Russia where the laws are just and apply to everyone. He also took the opportunity to rally for bipartisan support to send more aid to Ukraine. “The failure to support Ukraine in this critical moment will never be forgotten,” said Biden, adding that “We have to help now.”

Navalny’s last Telegram message to his wife reads: “Dear, for you and I, everything’s like in a song. There are cities, the runway lights of airports, blue blizzards and thousands of kilometers between us. But I feel you by my side every second, and I love you ever more.” The post also shares a picture of the two gazing at one another. Navalny leaves behind his wife and two children.


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