Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny dead at 47, says prison service

Alexei Navalny, Russia’s prominent opposition leader, died on Friday at the age of 47, according to the Russian prison service.

Navalny collapsed and lost consciousness at the IK-3 penal colony in Kharp, located in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District, north of the Arctic Circle, where he was serving a lengthy prison sentence.

Navalny gained prominence over a decade ago for his outspoken criticism of the elite class surrounding President Vladimir Putin and for exposing widespread corruption.

The Federal Penitentiary Service stated that Navalny became unwell after a walk in the colony, situated approximately 1,900 kilometers (1,200 miles) northeast of Moscow.

“The medical staff of the institution arrived immediately, and an ambulance team was called,” the prison service reported. “All necessary resuscitation measures were carried out, which did not yield positive results. Doctors of the ambulance declared the convict dead.”

The cause of death is currently under investigation. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry

Peskov confirmed that President Putin has been informed of Navalny’s death.

Navalny, known for his courageous stance against the Russian government, returned to Russia in 2021 from Germany, where he had been receiving treatment following a poisoning incident. Western laboratory tests indicated the use of a nerve agent in the attack.

Navalny had claimed he was poisoned in Siberia in August 2020, an allegation the Kremlin has consistently denied, citing a lack of evidence of nerve agent poisoning.