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Alexei Navalny reported dead by Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service

Politician Alexei Navalny died in IK-3 prison in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area, according to a report by the local department of the Federal Penitentiary Service.

The report noted that the medical staff of the institution immediately arrived after the incident and “an ambulance crew was called.”

“All necessary resuscitation measures were carried out, which did not yield positive results. Emergency doctors reported the death of the convict. The causes of death are being established,” — read the federal prisons authority’s statement.

On February 14, the politician's press secretary Kira Yarmysh reported that Navalny had been sent to a punishment cell (SHIZO) for the 27th time since his incarceration.

Alexei Navalny was 47 years old at the time of his death.

“Following a decision by Alexei Navalny's family, I am not commenting on anything at all. We are now in the process of working things out. Alexei's lawyer was with him on Wednesday. Everything was normal then,” — read a comment by Alexei Navalny’s lawyer Leonid Soloviev to the independent Russian news outlet Novaya Gazeta.

One of Navalny’s close aides Leonid Volkov, who until recently headed the Anti-Corruption Foundation (ACF), tweeted:

“Russian authorities publish a confession that they killed Alexey Navalny in prison. We do not have any way to confirm it or prove this isn’t true. Navalny’s lawyer is on the way to Harp,” Volkov wrote.

Just yesterday, Alexei Navalny appeared at a court session via video link and appeared healthy. The video of the appearance was published by SotaVision.

“Your Honor, I'm waiting, I'm going to send you my personal account number so that you and your huge federal judge's salary will pad my personal account — I'm running out of money thanks to your rulings and I'm going to run out of money even faster. So send it over. Artem, you guys can chip in too. Goodbye,” — Navalny said in the video.

In a comment to Pavel Zarubin of the state-owned Rossiya news channel, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the “medics have to find out” the causes of Navalny’s death.

“The [Federal Prisons Authority] FSIN is in charge of all checks, there is no need for special instructions,” he added. Vladimir Putin has been informed about Navalny's death, according to the spokesman.

Latvian President Edgars Rinkevics was the first head of state to comment on the news, tweeting:

“Whatever your thoughts about Alexey Navalny as the politician, he was just brutally murdered by the Kremlin. That’s a fact and that is something one should know about the true nature of Russia’s current regime. My condolences to the family and friends.”

At the time of his reported death, the politician was serving a 19-year sentence in IK-3 (“Polar Wolf”) — a penal colony in Kharp in the Yamalo-Nenets Region, located approximately 1,900 km (1200 miles) northeast of Moscow. Polar Wolf is considered to be one of Russia’s harshest prisons. IK-3 is a special regime colony above the Arctic Circle, located in the permafrost zone. Accessing the prison is very difficult and there are systematic reports of abuse and torture at the facility from former and current prisoners. A former inmate described the location of the prison as the “edge of all life.”

More about Navalny’s penal colony can be found in The Insider’s recent report.

Prior to being arrested in January 2021, Navalny exposed official corruption and led major anti-Kremlin protests across Russia. After recovering from nerve agent poisoning in Germany, executed by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), he returned to Moscow, and was arrested by police officers at passport control at Sheremetyevo Airport.

A joint investigation by Bellingcat, The Insider and CNN, with contributions from Der Spiegel, published in December 2020, revealed the names and ranks of the FSB officers responsible for poisoning Alexei Navalny with the Novichok nerve agent.

On August 4, 2023, the Moscow City Court sentenced Navalny to 19 years in a “special regime” penal colony after finding him guilty of financing extremism, the creation of an extremist community, and inciting extremism.

In early December, Navalny said he had been informed of new criminal charges against him. The charges, which fall under Article 214 of the Russian Criminal Code (“vandalism motivated by hatred”) carry a punishment of the restriction of freedom for up to three years, compulsory labour for up to three years, or imprisonment for the same period.

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