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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny dies in custody, sparking criticism

Moscow, 16 February, 2024 (GNP): Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, renowned as President Vladimir Putin’s most significant challenger, tragically collapsed and died on Friday while incarcerated at the “Polar Wolf” Arctic penal colony.

The Russian prison service confirmed the news, stating that Navalny, a former lawyer aged 47, fell ill after a walk at the IK-3 penal colony in Kharp.

Despite efforts by the prison’s medical team and ambulance staff to resuscitate him, Navalny lost consciousness almost immediately and passed away shortly after. His death robs the Russian opposition of its most outspoken figure, leaving a void in the country’s political landscape.

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Navalny rose to prominence for his relentless opposition against corruption within Putin’s administration, capturing the imagination of many young urban Russians seeking an alternative to Putin’s decades-long rule. His  activism and vocal opposition to the status quo earned him both admirers and adversaries within Russia.

His wife, Yulia Navalny, expressed skepticism about the circumstances surrounding his death, condemning Putin and his government for their continuous deception. Western leaders joined in paying tribute to Navalny’s bravery in challenging the Kremlin’s authority, with some accusing President Putin of culpability and calling for accountability.