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Live updates: Alexey Navalny is dead Russia’s most famous opposition figure has died in prison

What happened: Russian politician Alexey Navalny has died, according to the local administration of Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN).

What we know so far:

  • According to the FSIN’s statement, Navalny “felt unwell after a walk and almost immediately lost consciousness.” “All necessary resuscitation measures were carried out, which did not yield positive results. Emergency medical personnel confirmed the death of the convict. The cause of death is being established.”
  • Navalny’s team has not yet confirmed the news but announced on YouTube that his death appears to be likely.
  • Vladimir Putin is aware of Navalny’s death, but the president did not comment on the matter during a visit on Friday to Chelyabinsk. His spokesman has criticized Western responses as premature and “inappropriate.”

Alleged cause of death: Sources told Russian state propaganda network RT that Navalny died from a detached blood clot.

Dear readers, we’re bringing this live blog to a close, but that doesn’t mean we’re done covering the news of Navalny’s death, the world’s reaction, and the consequences for Russian and global politics. Keep an eye on our site for the latest updates and expert analysis as details continue to emerge. In the meantime, we’ll leave you with some of our more in-depth reporting on Alexey Navalny’s death:

Memorial for Navalny in Moscow

Over 70 people have been arrested at memorials for Navalny across Russia

Russian writer Dmitry Glukhovsky on how Western countries should respond to Navalny’s death:

The goal of Navalny’s murder is to show the Russian people and the West that there’s no alternative to Putin, that this is forever, that the people need to come to terms with it, and that the West must accept that they have no choice but to talk with Putin and only with Putin — and that all of the people they might wish to talk with instead will be eliminated. But that’s not true. The Russian people will be happy with any alternative: they welcomed [Yevgeny] Prigozhin with flowers and stood in the cold to show their support [for Boris] Nadezhdin. And the last thing the West should do is start a conversation with Vladimir Putin. Because the goal of this conversation will be deception, blackmail, and degradation.

Police are arresting people near Moscow’s Solovetsky Stone

Police officers beat Moscow resident Maxim Sokolov while arresting him near Moscow’s Solovetsky Stone, Sokolov’s girlfriend told OVD-Info. According to OVD-Info, at least eight people have been arrested near the Solovetsky Stone.

Another protester arrested

An activist has been arrested at Moscow’s Solovetsky Stone — a monument to victims of political repression — after holding a sign that read “Murderer.” He’s reportedly being charged with disobeying police.

According to the human rights project OVD-Info, the man’s name is Matvey Klestov. Lawyer Alan Kibizov said Klestov is also being charged with violating the rules governing public events.

Police near the Solovetsky Stone on Moscow’s Lubyanka Square began saying that the “square is closed” but continued allowing people to lay flowers

The pile of flowers on the stone is already taller than a person, reports Kommersant correspondent Alexander Chernykh.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul:

In St. Petersburg, police are dispersing a rally in memory of Alexey Navalny

The rally is taking place at a monument honoring the victims of political repressions on the Voskresenskaya Embankment. More than 20 people have been arrested, according to Novaya Gazeta, including journalists from Novaya Gazeta and RusNews.

Russian state television channels devoted less than a minute to Navalny’s death

NTV: Reported the politician’s death on the 4:00 p.m. news broadcast. An anchor read the Federal Penitentiary Service’s (FSIN) press release at the 13th minute.

Channel One: Reported Navalny’s death on the 6:00 p.m. news broadcast. An anchor read the FSIN press release at the 26th minute.

Russia 1: Made no mention of Navalny's death.

Latest updates as of 10:00 p.m. Moscow time (7:00 p.m. London, 2:00 p.m. New York)

  • There are memorials and demonstrations for Navalny in cities across Russia and the world. In Russia, people are bringing flowers, posters, candles, and portraits of Alexey Navalny to memorials for victims of political repression. Abroad, there are gatherings at Russian embassies and consulates.
  • Police have begun arresting people in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Nizhny Novgorod. The Moscow Prosecutor’s Office has warned against mass demonstrations.
  • Ivan Zhdanov, the director of Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), said that Navalny was “most likely killed.” According to Zhdanov, Navalny’s family has not yet been officially notified of his death.
  • A bot network is operating on social media to spread the Kremlin’s narrative that Navalny’s death “doesn’t benefit” the Russian authorities.
  • U.S. President Joe Biden said that Vladimir Putin bears responsibility for Navalny’s death. “What has happened to Navalny is yet more proof of Putin’s brutality,” Biden said.
  • Putin himself has not commented on Navalny’s death. According to Putin’s press secretary, the Russian president has been informed about the incident.

Navalny’s team posted a image with the words: “Not death, but murder.”

Joe Biden lays blame for Navalny’s death with Vladimir Putin:

Make no mistake: Putin is responsible for Navalny’s death. Putin is responsible. What has happened to Navalny is yet more proof of Putin’s brutality.

The Kremlin called the E.U.’s decision to blame Russia for Navalny’s death ‘reckless’

When asked to comment on the accusations leveled against Russian authorities by E.U. officials regarding Navalny's death, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the following:

The remarks of Western leaders are abundantly clear. Look, there is no statement from doctors, no information from forensic experts, no final information from the Federal Penitentiary Service; that is, there’s no information on the cause of death. And such statements are being made. Obviously, they’re absolutely reckless. We consider such statements absolutely unacceptable.

“I have nothing more to say on this topic,” added Peskov.

What we know about conditions in the Arctic prison where Alexey Navalny died

Navalny was serving a 19-year sentence at Correctional Facility No. 3 (IK-3) in Russia’s Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug (a prison also known as “Polar Wolf”) when he “felt unwell after a walk and almost immediately lost consciousness,” according to Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service. The authorities say emergency medical workers carried out “all of the necessary resuscitation measures” but that they “did not yield positive results.” Meduza explains what we know about the living conditions, prisoner treatment, and medical resources at IK-3.

The Polar Wolf

‘Legalized torture’ What we know about conditions in the Arctic prison where Alexey Navalny died

The Polar Wolf

‘Legalized torture’ What we know about conditions in the Arctic prison where Alexey Navalny died

Director of Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation says Navalny was likely killed

“Alexey Navalny has been murdered. And he was killed by Vladimir Putin,” said Ivan Zhdanov, the director of Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK).

According to Zhdanov, “officially the hospital, officially the morgues, officially the prison colony, are now not answering calls, they are on the defensive because they understand that some kind of event has happened.”

The politician’s associates noted that they do not yet have official confirmation of his death.

Navalny’s press secretary, Kira Yarmysh, encouraged people to pay their respects and to join demonstrations in memory of the politician.

Latest updates as of 6:50 p.m. Moscow time (3:50 p.m. London, 10:50 a.m. New York)

  • Alexey Navalny’s wife, Yulia, commented on the news of her husband’s death. She said she doesn’t know whether or not to believe the reports: “But, if the news is true, I want Putin and everyone around him — all Putin’s friends, his government — to know that they will be held responsible for what they’ve done to our country, to my family, and to my husband. And that day is coming very soon.”
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke with factory workers and students in Chelyabinsk but said nothing about the news of Navalny’s death. At the time, according to Putin’s press secretary, he had been informed of the news.
  • People in Russia and abroad have been paying their respects to Navalny. In Russia, people are bringing flowers to memorials for victims of political repression. In some cities, the police are already on duty at the memorials.
  • Journalists noted that during the filming of a documentary about himself (Navalny, released in 2022), Navalny was asked what to do if he was killed. “Don’t give up,” he replied.
  • Meduza’s sources said that the Kremlin’s political bloc views Navalny’s death as a “very negative event” for Putin's election campaign. At the same time, the Kremlin does not believe that it will seriously affect the election results. They think that within Russia, his death “will be discussed for a few days, and then [the topic] will fade away on its own.”
  • Yabloko party leader Nikolai Rybakov tried to speak about Navalny’s death on live television but was quickly interrupted. Additionally, state media employees have reportedly received instructions to limit themselves to “event-based news” about Alexey Navalny’s death.

A bot network is already boosting the Kremlin’s narrative on Navalny’s death

Journalists at Agenstsvo report that a bot network operating to boost the Kremlin’s media narratives on Vkontakte and 𝕏 has started publishing comments on posts about Alexey Navalny, arguing that the Russian authorities don’t benefit from his death and claiming that the blood clot that allegedly killed Navalny (as reported by Russia Today) could have been caused by his hunger strike in early 2021. Numerous accounts have repeated claims already voiced openly by State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin that the West is responsible for Navalny’s death because they stand to “gain” the most. Others complain that Navalny and even his death have received too much media attention.

Speaker of Russia’s State Duma blames the West

Reasoning that the West has the most to gain, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin declared on his Telegram channel, “Washington and Brussels are to blame for Navalny’s death.” Volodin argued that the Kremlin’s various critics in “unfriendly countries” (politicians and leaders who impose sanctions on Russia, root for its defeat in Ukraine, and so on) are “culprits” in Navalny’s death because they oppose the Putin administration’s various initiatives. Volodin did not elaborate on the logic of his accusation.

Russia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry accused the United States of “extreme cynicism” after the State Department blamed Russia for Navalny’s death:

The death of a person is always a tragedy. It’s interesting why for the White House and the State Department, the death of a Russian citizen in a Russian correctional facility turned out to be much more important and seem more horrible than the death of an American citizen, journalist Gonzalo Lira, tortured in a Ukrainian prison. Instead of sweeping accusations, it would be appropriate to show restraint and wait for the official results of the forensic examination.

Maia Sandu, president of Moldova, wrote:

The death of Alexei Navalny in a Russian prison is a stark reminder of the regime’s appalling oppression of dissent. My heartfelt thoughts go out to his family, all democratically-minded Russians, and those bravely fighting for freedom and democracy within Russia and abroad.

On Lubyanka Street

In Moscow, residents are placing flowers to the Solovetsky Stone on Lubyanka Street, a monument to victims of political repression that was put up in 1990.


Russian police officers have arrived at memorials set up in Navalny’s memory, reports 7x7.

  • In Ulyanovsk, people are taking flowers to a memorial to victims of political repression. People in plain clothes immediately remove the flowers and take photos of those who brought them.
  • In Novosibirsk, the police cordoned off the local memorial to the victims of political repression. Police officers say they received a bomb threat.
  • In Tomsk, police officers arrived at the Stone of Sorrow. So far, no one has been detained.
  • In Nizhny Novgorod, people brought flowers to a memorial in memory of journalist Irina Slavina, which is located near the Internal Affairs Ministry building.
  • People also brought flowers to memorials in Belgorod, Barnaul, and Kazan.
  • In the Komi Republic, people brought flowers to a chapel in memory of victims of political repression.
  • Leaflets are being spread in Tver.

Actions in memory of Navalny in Russia





Former Navalny headquarters coordinators have commented to 7x7 on reports of the politician’s death:

Elena Lekiashvili, former coordinator of Navalny’s Yaroslavl headquarters:

Forgive me if I cry, I'm at a loss. [...] Navalny turned political life in [Russian] regions upside down. In 2016, it was impossible to imagine this — branches of an unregistered political party [Navalny's headquarters] in every region. He came and said that we could do it. He gave us the feeling that anything was possible.

Yevgeny Karpov, former coordinator of Navalny’s Voronezh headquarters:

I’m waiting for a statement from Navalny’s team. I still can’t believe it. I’m still reflecting. […] If Putin remains, I don’t know if I’ll have the strength to continue working. But Navalny’s team will continue.

Navalny’s widow speaks

Speaking today at the Munich Security Conference, Alexey Navalny’s wife, Yulia, delivered the following brief remarks:

We’ve probably all seen today’s horrible news. I asked myself if I should come here or get on a plane to go to my children. And then I asked what Alexey would do in my place. And I’m certain that he would be here. He’d be on this stage. I don’t know whether to believe this terrible news we’re getting only from Russia’s state media sources. Because for many years, as you all know, it’s been impossible to trust Putin and Putin’s state. They lie constantly. 

But, if the news is true, I want Putin and everyone around him — all Putin’s friends, his government — to know that they will be held responsible for what they’ve done to our country, to my family, and to my husband. And that day is coming very soon. And I’d like to call on all the international community, on everyone present in this room, and on people around the world to rally together to defeat this evil. To defeat this horrific regime in Russia today. Both this regime and Vladimir Putin personally should be held responsible for all the atrocities they’ve committed against our country over the years.

State media employees have received instructions to limit themselves to “event-based news” about Alexey Navalny’s death, reports the Telegram channel Ostorozhno, Novosti.

New publications should be tied to specific events, and journalists have been asked not to write any more about statements from public figures regarding the politician’s death.

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