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Prominent Kremlin Critic Alexei Navalny Passes Away in Custody

Payam Javan: Russia’s prominent opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, has died at the “Polar Wolf” Arctic penal colony where he was serving a long jail term, according to the Russian prison service.

The 47-year-old former lawyer gained fame for exposing corruption among Russia’s elite. Navalny reportedly felt unwell after a walk at the penal colony, losing consciousness immediately. Resuscitation measures were unsuccessful, and the cause of death is under investigation.

Western officials paid tribute to Navalny’s courage, with some accusing the Kremlin, though supporters couldn’t confirm his death. Navalny returned to Russia in 2021 after being treated in Germany for a nerve agent poisoning, which the Kremlin denied.

Russian officials portrayed him as an extremist and alleged ties to the U.S. CIA. Navalny’s last post on Telegram was a Valentine’s Day message to his wife.

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