Ponedjeljak, 15 travnja, 2024

Russian authorities: An investigation into Navalny’s death is underway

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The death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in a prison in the Arctic where he was detained is being investigated in accordance with the law, regardless of the West’s reactions to the event, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday.

The Russian prison service announced on Friday that Navalny had died, stating that attempts to resuscitate him had failed after he collapsed during a daily walk. Within hours, several Western public figures, including national leaders, blamed the Russian government for his death. Some in their statements personally accused President Vladimir Putin. Autopsy results have not yet been released.

In the absence of factual information, “we consider such unfounded comments absolutely unacceptable,” Peskov said.

“They are unlikely to harm our head of state, but they definitely do not contribute to those who make such statements,” he added. The 47-year-old Navalny was a vocal critic of the Russian government and hailed as an “opposition leader” in the West. He founded a movement that published several reports on alleged corruption and organized a series of protest rallies.

Navalny was arrested in 2021 after violating a suspended sentence in a corruption case involving the French merchant Yves Rocher. Initially, he was held in a high-security facility in the Vladimir region. Two years later, he was sentenced to 19 years in prison under a “special regime” for “extremism”.

In 2020, he claimed that the Russian government had tried to poison him and went to Germany for treatment. Moscow suggested that the alleged assassination attempt was likely fabricated with the help of the West.

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a list of foreign comments on Navalny’s death and noted that the Western “investigation” of the case sharply contrasts with the speed at which sabotage of the Nord Stream pipeline was addressed.

This month, Sweden halted its investigation into the September 2022 attack after finding no perpetrators. Russian President Vladimir Putin said the blame lies with the US or someone acting on its behalf.

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