Alexei Navalny is the latest Putin critic to die in suspicious circumstances

Alexei Navalny is the latest Putin critic to die in suspicious circumstances

The demise of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in a penal colony in Russia's Arctic north was both shocking and, unfortunately, predictable. Over the years, critics and adversaries of Russian leader Vladimir Putin have fallen victim to various methods, such as shootings, poisoning with radioactive or nerve agents, or fatal falls from open windows.

Navalny, aged 47, appeared in court the day before his death in the "Polar Wolf" penal colony, where he was serving a lengthy sentence. Despite being seen smiling in a court video and sending Valentine's Day greetings to his wife, he tragically passed away less than 24 hours later.

Before his 2021 incarceration, Navalny survived a near-fatal poisoning during a flight from Siberia to Moscow. Despite the risk, he returned to Russia after receiving emergency treatment in Berlin, where doctors identified the nerve agent Novichok.

Navalny now joins a grim list of opposition figures, critics, and journalists who have met suspicious deaths or survived poisonings from London to Moscow. This list includes prominent individuals like Boris Nemtsov, shot dead near the Kremlin in 2015, and Alexander Litvinenko, fatally poisoned in a London hotel in 2006.

The pattern of suspicious incidents dates back to the early days of Putin's leadership, with examples such as the shooting of journalist Anna Politkovskaya in 2006 and the 2009 death of Sergei Magnitsky, a critic of Putin, in a Russian prison cell. The recurrent nature of these events raises concerns about the safety and well-being of those who oppose or criticize the Russian government.

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