What Navalny said about Russia, Putin and death

reuters – By Guy Faulconbridge –Moscow – Alexei Navalny, Russia’s most prominent opposition leader, died on Friday after collapsing and losing consciousness at the penal colony north of the Arctic Circle where he was serving a long jail term, the Russian prison service said.


Navalny, 47, became the leading figure among Russia’s splintered opposition.

Supporters cast him as a Russian version of South Africa’s Nelson Mandela who would one day be freed from jail to lead the country.

He earned admiration from many in Russian opposition circles for voluntarily returning to Russia in 2021 from Germany, where he underwent treatment for what Western laboratory tests showed was an attempt to poison him with a nerve agent in Siberia.


A former lawyer, Navalny rose to prominence with blogs which exposed what he said was vast corruption across the Russian elite, describing Russia as ruled by “crooks and thieves”.

He participated in Russian nationalist marches in the 2000s. Calls for restrictions on immigration and criticism over what some viewed as his overly nationalist views prompted his expulsion from the liberal Yabloko opposition party in 2007.

He lampooned President Vladimir Putin’s elite and exposed some of the opulence of the lifestyles of senior officials, using the internet and even drones to illustrate what he described as their vast holdings and luxury property.

When demonstrations against Putin flared in December 2011, after an election tainted by fraud accusations, he was one of the first protest leaders arrested.

Navalny long forecast Russia could face seismic political turmoil, including revolution, because he said Putin had built a brittle system of personal rule reliant on sycophancy and corruption.


The Kremlin said Putin had been informed of his death.

The Kremlin dismissed Navalny’s allegations of vast corruption and Putin’s personal wealth. Navalny’s movement is outlawed and most of his senior allies have fled Russia and now live in Europe.

Russian officials cast Navalny as an extremist who was a puppet of the U.S. CIA intelligence agency which they say is intent on trying to sow the seeds of revolution to weaken Russia and make it a client state of the West.

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