Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, an outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin, died early on Friday in a remote Arctic prison, Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service reported. Navalny, 47, was serving a 19-year sentence on charges of “extremism” stemming from his role in staging massive anti-Kremlin protests and accusing the Putin regime of corruption.

“On February 16, 2024, in penal colony No. 3, convict A.A. Navalny felt unwell after a walk, almost immediately losing consciousness,” prison officials reported. “The facility’s medical workers immediately arrived at the scene and an emergency medical team was called in. All necessary resuscitation measures have been carried out, but they did not yield positive results. Emergency medics confirmed the death of the convict.”

News of Navalny’s death comes less than a month before the next Russian election, which is expected to overwhelmingly favor Putin, giving him another six years in office.

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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, a critic of Vladimir Putin, died on Friday in a remote Arctic prison, where he was serving 19 years for extremism.
(AP Photo/Evgeny Feldman, File)

As Valuetainment previously reported, Navalny was first sentenced to prison in 2021 after returning to Moscow from a brief exile in Germany to recover from an assassination attempt the previous year. The Kremlin denied responsibility for the near-fatal nerve agent attack, but United States intelligence officials backed Navalny’s claim that Putin was behind the poisoning.

After receiving the additional 19-year “extremism” charge and a litany of fraud convictions—which brought his combined sentence up to 30 years—Navalny vanished into the Russian prison system in December before reemerging in a labor camp in the Arctic three weeks later.

At the time of Navalny’s arrest, President Joe Biden reportedly warned Putin that consequences for any further harm inflicted on the imprisoned dissident “would be devastating for Russia,” but did not elaborate further.

“What do you think happens when he’s saying it’s not about hurting Navalny, all the stuff he says to rationalize the treatment of Navalny, and then he dies in prison?” Biden said. “It’s about trust. It’s about their ability to influence other nations in a positive way.”

Connor Walcott is a staff writer for Follow Connor on X and look for him on VT’s “The Unusual Suspects.”

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