Navalny’s death generates reactions from around the world

Alexei Navalny 2

Alexei Navalny

Following are reactions in Russia and abroad to the death of jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, reported on Friday by the prison service of the Yamalo-Nenets region where he had been serving his sentence.

In Russia, Kremlim spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said President Vladimir Putin has been told about Navalny’s death.

Russian investigative committee:

The committee said it has launched a procedural probe into the death.

Navalny’s mother, Lyudmila Navalnaya Navalnaya, was quoted by the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta as saying on Facebook:

“I don’t want to hear any condolences. We saw him in prison on the (Feb) 12, in a meeting. He was alive, healthy, and happy.”

Navalny aide Leonid Volkov, on X:

Volkov said he was unable to confirm the death, adding Navalny’s lawyer was travelling to the site of the prison where the opposition leader had been serving his sentence.

Navalny’s Deputy, Ivan Zhdanov, on X:

Zhdanov said relatives of Navalny should be notified of his death within 24 hours, but no notifications have been made.

Russian newspaper editor and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dmitry Muratov:

Speaking to Reuters, Muratov called the death “murder” and said that he believed prison conditions had led to Navalny’s demise.

U.S. Secretary of State Anatoly Blinken, speaking in Munich:

“First and foremost, if these reports are accurate, our hearts go out to his wife and his family. Beyond that, his death in a Russian prison and the fixation and fear of one man only underscores the weakness and rot at the heart of the system that Putin has built. Russia is responsible for this.

“We’ll be talking to the many other countries concerned about Alexei Navalny, especially if these reports bear out to be true.”

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, in an NPR interview:

“If it’s confirmed, it is a tragedy. And given the Russian government’s long and sordid history of harming its opponents, it raises real and obvious questions about what happened here.”

Following the confirmation and more details, “we’ll determine from there what comes next”.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, on X:

“Like no one else, Alexei Navalny was a symbol for a free and democratic Russia. That is precisely the reason he had to die.”

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German Finance Minister Christian Lindner, on X:

“Alexey Navalny fought for a democratic Russia. For that, Putin tortured him to death.”

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, on X:

“This is terrible news. As the fiercest advocate for Russian democracy, Alexei Navalny demonstrated incredible courage throughout his life.”
French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne, on X

“Alexei Navalny paid with his life for his resistance to a system of oppression. His death in a penal colony reminds us of the reality of Vladimir Putin’s regime. To his family, his loved ones and the Russian people, France presents its condolences.”

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson on X:

“Dreadful news about Alexei Navalny. My thoughts are with his family and friends. The Russian authorities, and President Putin personally, are responsible for Alexei Navalny no longer being alive.”

EU Council President Charles Michel, on X:

“Alexei Navalny fought for the values of freedom and democracy. For his ideals, he made the ultimate sacrifice. The EU holds the Russian regime solely responsible for this tragic death.”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, on X:

“Deeply disturbed and saddened by news of the death of Alexei Navalny. Putin fears nothing more than dissent from his people. A grim reminder of what Putin and his regime are all about. Let’s unite in our fight to safeguard the freedom and safety of those who dare to stand up against autocracy.”

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg:

Said he was “deeply saddened and disturbed” by the reports of Navalny’s death. “We need to establish all the facts, and Russia needs to answer all the serious questions about the circumstances of his death.”

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, on X

Navalny’s death “illustrates the unprecedented brutality of the Russian regime. Navalny fought for democratic values and against corruption. He had to pay for his struggle with death while he was held under the harshest and most inhumane conditions. I wish his family, loved ones, and everyone who fought with him for change in Russia much strength.”

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo, on X:

“His tragic death again underscores why we will continue to support Ukraine. Russia will not prevail in Ukraine. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Navalny and all brave Russian political prisoners.”

“Whatever your thoughts about Alexei Navalny as a politician, he was just brutally murdered by the Kremlin. That’s a fact and that is something one should know about the true nature of Russia’s current regime. My condolences to the family and friends.”

Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky:

“It’s still the case that just as Russia treats its foreign policy, it treats its citizens. It has turned into a violent state that kills people who dream of a better future, like Nemtsov or now Navalny – imprisoned and tortured to death for standing up to Putin. Rest in peace.” (Reuters/NAN)

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