Alexei Navalny Death: The Life and Death of Putin Most Vocal Critic

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Written By Drew Gomez






Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition leader and anti-corruption activist, died on February 16, 2024, while serving a 19-year prison sentence in a remote penal colony in the Russian Arctic. His death sparked outrage and protests around the world, as many accused the Kremlin of orchestrating his assassination.

Navalny was widely regarded as one of the most prominent and persistent critics of Russian president Vladimir Putin, having exposed corruption and human rights abuses under his regime. Navalny’s death is only the latest in a long line of mysterious and violent deaths of Putin’s opponents, raising questions about the state of democracy and freedom in Russia.

Navalny’s Rise to Prominence

Navalny was born in 1976 in a small town near Moscow. He studied law and finance and worked as a lawyer and an activist. He rose to prominence in the late 2000s, when he started blogging and campaigning against corruption and election fraud in Russia.

He founded the Anti-Corruption Foundation, a non-governmental organization that investigated and exposed the illicit wealth and activities of Putin’s inner circle and allies. He also created and shared viral videos that revealed the lavish lifestyles and palaces of the Russian elite, earning him millions of followers and supporters online.

Navalny also became involved in politics, joining and leading various opposition movements and parties. He ran for mayor of Moscow in 2013, winning 27% of the vote in a contest that was widely seen as rigged. He also attempted to run for president in 2018, but was barred from the ballot due to a criminal conviction that he claimed was fabricated.

Navalny organized and participated in numerous protests and rallies against Putin’s rule, calling for fair elections, human rights, and democratic reforms. He was arrested and detained several times, facing charges of extremism, fraud, embezzlement, and defamation.

Navalny’s Poisoning and Imprisonment

In August 2020, Navalny was poisoned with a nerve agent called Novichok, a chemical weapon that was developed by the Soviet Union and is known to be used by the Russian security services. Navalny fell into a coma during a flight from Tomsk to Moscow, where he was planning to expose a new corruption scandal. He was taken to a hospital in Omsk, where the doctors initially refused to let him leave or reveal his diagnosis.

He was eventually evacuated to Germany, where he received treatment and recovered. A joint investigation by several media outlets and laboratories confirmed that Navalny was poisoned with Novichok, and identified the members of the FSB, the Russian federal security service, who were involved in the operation. Navalny accused Putin of ordering his assassination, and vowed to return to Russia to continue his fight.

In January 2021, Navalny flew back to Moscow, where he was immediately arrested at the airport. He was sentenced to 19 years in prison for violating the terms of his probation from a previous fraud case that he said was politically motivated. He was transferred to a penal colony in Pokrov, east of Moscow, where he faced harsh conditions and mistreatment.

He went on a hunger strike in April 2021, demanding proper medical care and access to his lawyers. He ended his strike after 24 days, when he was moved to a hospital and warned by his doctors that he could die at any moment. He was later transferred to another penal colony in Kharp, in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, in the Russian Far North. He was placed in solitary confinement for the 27th time, and spent a total of 300 days in isolation.

Navalny’s Death and Aftermath

On February 16, 2024, the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service announced that Navalny had died in the Kharp penal colony. They said that he had felt unwell after a walk and lost consciousness, and that the resuscitation efforts had failed. They did not specify the cause of death, but said that an investigation was underway.

Navalny’s spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh, said that his team could not confirm his death and that a lawyer was going to the prison to investigate. She also said that Navalny had appeared via video link at a court hearing the day before his death, and that he had seemed to be in good health and made jokes.

Navalny’s death sparked a wave of grief, anger, and condemnation from his supporters, allies, and the international community. Thousands of people took to the streets in different cities across Russia and the world, demanding justice and accountability for his murder.

Many protesters were detained by the police, who used force and tear gas to disperse the crowds. Several world leaders and human rights organizations issued statements expressing their sorrow and solidarity with Navalny’s family and friends, and calling for an independent and transparent investigation into his death.

They also accused the Russian authorities of being responsible for his death, and urged them to respect the rights and freedoms of the Russian people. Some countries also imposed sanctions and diplomatic measures against Russia, in an attempt to pressure Putin to end his repression and violence against his opponents.


Alexei Navalny was a courageous and charismatic leader, who dedicated his life to fighting for democracy and justice in Russia. He challenged Putin’s authoritarian rule, and exposed the corruption and abuses of his regime. He inspired and mobilized millions of Russians and people around the world, who shared his vision and values.

He survived multiple attempts on his life, and endured imprisonment and torture. He never gave up, and never lost hope. He died as a martyr and a hero, but his legacy and his spirit live on. He will be remembered as one of the most influential and influential figures in Russian history, and as a symbol of resistance and change.

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