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Business News/ News / World/  Vladimir Putin critic passes away in Russian prison — Who was Alexei Navalny?
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Vladimir Putin critic passes away in Russian prison — Who was Alexei Navalny?

Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has died in a Russian penal colony, where he was serving a 19-year sentence. The news was confirmed by the Federal Penitentiary Service, but Navalny's team has yet to receive official confirmation.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny leaves the European court of Human Rights after a hearing in 2018. (REUTERS)Premium
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny leaves the European court of Human Rights after a hearing in 2018. (REUTERS)

Long time Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has passed away at a ‘special regime’ penal colony in Russia. The anti-corruption crusader — considered to be President Vladimir Putin's fiercest foe — had begun serving a 19-year sentence on charges of extremism after he returned to Moscow in 2021. News of his death was shared in an official statement by the Federal Penitentiary Service. However the politician's team said they had no confirmation of his death at this time. 

Navalny was born in Butyn to parents of Ukrainian and Russian descent. He grew up in Obninsk — some 100 kilometres southwest of Moscow — and graduated from the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia with a law degree in 1998. He then studied securities and exchanges at the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation. Navalny practiced as an advocate for more than a decade even as his political activities gained momentum.

Navalny joined the Russian United Democratic Party Yabloko in 2000 and was elected to the regional council of the party's Moscow branch two years later. He climbed through the party ranks over the next decade and was involved in a variety of projects — including those unrelated to any political parties. He started an youth social movement called DA! – Democratic Alternative and led several political debates. 

ALSO READ: Alexei Navalny 'had to die': How world reacted to death of Vladimir Putin's critic

Navalny participated in the Russian March in 2006 despite opposition from the Yabloko and was eventually expelled from the party for taking part in "nationalist activities". During this time he also gained momentum as an ‘anti-corruption campaigner’ — buying shares in state-owned oil giants to access company reports and scour them for evidence of corruption that was subsequently documented in his blog.

The lawyer and activist co-founded the National Russian Liberation Movement in 2007 with immigration policy as a priority. 

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Published: 16 Feb 2024, 06:13 PM IST
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