Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny Dead At 47, Prison Service Says

(Photo by Maxim ZMEYEV / AFP) (Photo by MAXIM ZMEYEV/AFP via Getty Images)

Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has died aged 47 at a prison colony above the Arctic Circle, Russian prison services said Friday.

Navalny allegedly felt unwell after a walk at some point on Friday, and subsequently lost consciousness, the Federal Penitentiary Service said, according to The Associated Press. His death is being investigated per standard prison procedure. His team publicly stated on Friday that they’ve no confirmation of Navalny’s death.

“Alexey’s lawyer is currently on his way to Kharp. As soon as we have some information, we will report on it,” Navalny spokesperson Kira Yarmysh said on Twitter. Navalny was in the midst of a 19-year prison sentence based on charges of corruption and extremism, and was suddenly moved from a prison outside of Moscow to the Arctic Circle penitentiary in December.

He was first imprisoned in 2021, after returning to Russia following an alleged assassination attempt. Navalny was apparently poisoned with a nerve agent, believed to have been put in his cup of tea at a Tomsk airport in 2020. He collapsed shortly after taking off on-route to Germany, where doctors concluded he’d been poisoned with Novichok, a popular Russian security service nerve agent, Axios reported.

Members of Navalny’s team consistently warned he would be killed in prison, claiming he was previously denied medical care, and that other prisoners had been encouraged to “torment” him, the outlet noted. He reiterated these claims himself, saying in 2021 that he was being kept in a “concentration camp.” (RELATED: Navalny Supporters Get Tattoos, Don Putin Masks In Protest Ahead Of Biden Meeting With Russian President)

In 2021, a Moscow court banned all groups associated with Navalny’s party and leadership, classifying them as extremists and preventing them from engaging in Russian elections. Russian President Vladimir Putin was informed of Navalny’s alleged death, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said.

A slew of posts erupted online upon news of Navalny’s reported death. “The world has lost a fighter whose courage will echo through generations,” President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola said on Twitter.

“Deeply disturbed and saddened by news of the death of Alexei Navalny. Putin fears nothing more than dissent from his own people,” wrote the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. “A grim reminder of what Putin and his regime are all about. Let’s unite in our fight to safeguard the freedom and safety of those who dare to stand up against autocracy.”

Navalny’s death also comes in the wake of a highly-anticipated interview with Putin conducted by Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson. Carlson was attacked by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for doing the interview, calling him a “useful idiot.”

Carlson said “she’s a child,” in response. “I don’t listen to her.”

This is an evolving story. Please check back for updates.