Jailed Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny dead at 47

Jailed Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died in the penal colony where he was serving his multiple jail sentences in Russia’s Arctic Yamalo-Nenets autonomous district, the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) announced on Friday.

“Convict Navalny A. A. felt bad after a walk, almost immediately losing consciousness. The medical staff of the facility arrived immediately, and an ambulance team was called. All necessary resuscitation measures were carried out, which did not yield positive results. Medics pronounced the convict dead at the scene,” FSIN said.

FSIN said it was sending an investigative commission to the penal colony in Russia's Arctic far north where Navalny died.

State propaganda outlet RT reported that Navalny had died after suffering from a blood clot.

Navalny’s lawyer Leonid Solovyov declined to comment on Navalny’s death to Novaya Gazeta out of respect for Navalny’s family. “We are now sorting things out. Alexey saw his lawyer on Wednesday. Everything was normal then," Solovyov said. 

Navalny’s mother Lyudmila told Novaya Gazeta, “I do not want to hear any condolences. I saw my son in prison on 12 February, when we went to visit him. He was alive, healthy and cheerful.”

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Navalny’s wife Yulia said that upon hearing the news she had wondered “whether to come here or to fly straight to my children. Then I thought about what Alexey Navalny would do, and I’m sure he’d be here, standing on this stage.”

She added that if the news turned out to be true, she wanted “Putin and his entire entourage, his friends and his government to know that they will be held accountable for what they have done to our country, to my family and to my husband. And that day will soon come.”

Alexey and Yulia. Photo: Yulia Navalnaya / Instagram

Alexey and Yulia. Photo: Yulia Navalnaya / Instagram

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that “no special measures” would be necessitated by Navalny’s death. “As far as we know, now, in accordance with all the current rules, the FSIN is making all necessary checks and enquiries,” adding that there was “a certain set of rules on this matter, by which the Federal Penitentiary Service is guided".

Peskov added that Russian President Vladimir Putin had been informed of Navalny’s death.

Navalny’s spokesperson Kira Yarmysh said that Navalny’s team had received no information about the politician’s death.

“The Federal Penitentiary Service Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District is spreading the news of Alexey Navalny’s death in penal colony-3. We have no confirmation of this yet. Alexey’s lawyer is now flying to Kharp. As soon as we know anything, we will announce it,” Yarmysh said.

The Public Supervisory Commission of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District said that Navalny had not complained of ill health in the run up to his sudden death.

Media outlet SOTAvision has posted the footage from Navalny’s court hearing at which he appeared via video link on Thursday. “Alexey [was] chipper, healthy and cheerful,” the journalists wrote.

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