Updated February 16th, 2024 at 23:16 IST

Alexei Navalny's Death 'perpetrated by the Russian state': Analyst

"It's not an accident," said Nigel Gould-Davies, who was speaking from Berlin.

Alexey Navalny speaks during a rally in Moscow. | Image:AP
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A former British ambassador to Belarus and senior fellow for Russia & Eurasia at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London said on Friday that the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was “perpetrated by the Russian state.” "It's not an accident," said Nigel Gould-Davies, who was speaking from Berlin. "It's an outcome that in some sense was wanted by the state."

Navalny, the fiercest foe of Russian President Vladimir Putin who crusaded against official corruption and staged massive anti-Kremlin protests, died in prison Friday, Russian authorities said. He was 47. Navalny, who was serving a 19-year sentence on charges of extremism, felt unwell after a walk, according to the Federal Penitentiary Service, and lost consciousness.

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An ambulance arrived to try to revive him, but he died. It said the cause of death was "being established.” Kremlin spokespersonDmitry Peskov said Putin was informed of Navalny’s death and the prison service would look into it in line with standard procedures.

Navalny’s spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that the politician’s team had no confirmation of his death so far and that his lawyer was traveling to the town where he was held. Navalny had been behind bars since January 2021, when he returned to Moscow after recuperating in Germany from nerve agent poisoning that he blamed on the Kremlin.

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Before his arrest, he campaigned against official corruption, organized major anti-Kremlin protests and ran for public office. He had since received three prison sentences, all of which he rejected as politically motivated.

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Published February 16th, 2024 at 23:16 IST