Navalny, Putin Critic, Dies in Captivity

( – Alexei Navalny, a Russian opposition leader and frequent critic of their president Vladimir Putin, died suddenly while in prison on February 16. The facility where he was being held has been described by western media as a “brutal” arctic penal facility. Navalny, was 47 at the time of his death and leaves behind a wife and two children. Almost immediately after the news was released there were calls from western politicians and media alike to blame and take action against Putin.

Navalny was described by his mother as seemingly fine and even happy just days prior to his death. Prison officials said that Navalny “felt unwell” on the day of his death before falling over and dying in the prison. Rather than wait for more details to emerge, Vice President Kamala Harris spoke in Germany on the same day and said Navalny’s death is further proof of Putin’s “brutality.” Harris even said that no matter what information may be forthcoming “Russia is responsible.” It is a reasonable assumption that by “Russia” she was referring to Putin. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made similar remarks blaming Putin and saying he had Navalny killed because he fixated on and feared him.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky who is currently pleading for more US aid said Navalny was “obviously killed by Putin” and went on to say the Russian president does not care who he kills. Charles Michel, the EU Council President said that the EU also holds Putin “solely responsible.” Most western leaders and media echoed these statements throughout the weekend.

However, most media and political partisans are not mentioning Navalny’s apparent links to Nazi groups or his recorded alleged attempt to solicit funds and intelligence from MI6 to start a color revolution in Russia. Recently, an American freelance journalist named Gonzalo Ángel Quintilio Lira López died in a Ukrainian prison but there was very little outcry from the media or American officials. Navalny’s death was also cited by Joe Biden as a latest reason for the Congress to quickly pass the Senate’s foreign aid funding bill to bolster Ukraine.

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