Alexei Navalny, a prominent critic of President Vladimir Putin, has passed away, as confirmed by the country’s prison service. Navalny was detained in a maximum-security facility located in Yamal, close to the Arctic Circle, at the age of 47.

“On February 16, 2024, in Penal Colony No. 3, the convict Alexei Navalny felt unwell after a walk, almost immediately losing consciousness, according to representatives of the department,” an official statement from the Yamal directorate of the federal penitentiary service said.

“The cause of death is being investigated,” the statement added.

The Federal Penitentiary Service announced:

“On 16.02.24 in the correctional colony number three, convict Navalny felt ill after a walk almost immediately losing consciousness.

“Medical workers of the institution arrived immediately, ambulance team was called.

“All necessary resuscitation measures were carried out which did not give a positive result.

“Ambulance, doctors confirmed the death of the convict.

“The causes of death have been established.”

Navalny had been confined in a detention facility situated approximately 40 miles north of the Arctic Circle, where he had received a 19-year sentence under a “special regime.”

In a prison video recorded in January, he had appeared thin and with a shaved head. During early December, he had vanished from a correctional facility in the Vladimir region, where he had been serving a 30-year prison term for charges related to extremism and fraud.

Navalny had asserted that these charges were a form of political retaliation due to his leadership in the anti-Kremlin opposition movement during the 2010s. He held no expectations of being released while Putin was still alive.

As a former nationalist politician, Navalny played a significant role in instigating the protests in Russia between 2011 and 2012. He actively campaigned against electoral misconduct and government corruption, conducted investigations into Putin’s inner circle, and shared his findings through captivating videos that amassed hundreds of millions of views.

In 2013, he achieved the pinnacle of his political career by securing 27% of the vote in a Moscow mayoral election that was widely regarded as neither free nor fair.

For years, he remained a constant source of annoyance for the Kremlin, exposing a lavish palace on the Black Sea allegedly intended for Putin’s personal use, as well as mansions and yachts linked to former President Dmitry Medvedev, and even revealing a connection between a sex worker and a prominent oligarch involved in foreign policy. In 2020, Navalny fell into a coma after a suspected poisoning with novichok, allegedly carried out by Russia’s FSB security service. He was subsequently evacuated to Germany for medical treatment.

After making a remarkable recovery, he returned to Russia in January 2021, only to be arrested on charges of violating his parole. This arrest marked the beginning of a series of jail terms that would ultimately amount to over 30 years of imprisonment. Meanwhile, Putin has recently launched his campaign for a fifth term as president. Already the longest-serving Russian leader since Joseph Stalin, he has the potential to surpass even Stalin’s record if he decides to run for office again in 2030. This possibility arose after he successfully had the constitutional rules on term limits rewritten in 2020.