Russia said the Kremlin’s most prominent critic, Alexei Navalny died on Friday in an Arctic prison, drawing intense criticism from opposition and Western officials.

Here are some of the key reactions:


“Alexei’s death is a murder. Organised by (Vladimir) Putin,” Exiled Russian opposition politician Dmitry Gudkov said. “Even if Alexei died of ‘natural’ causes, they were caused by his poisoning and further torture in prison.”

‘Putin responsible’

“He was convicted in a trial on false charges, with false evidence. He was put in prison, where he lived in terrible conditions. Vladimir Putin is responsible for all this,” said Poland’s foreign affairs minister Radoslaw Sikorski.

‘Dreadful nature of regime’

“Putin’s Russia fabricated charges against him, poisoned him, sent him to an arctic penal colony and now he has tragically died,” said British Foreign Secretary David Cameron. “No one should doubt the dreadful nature of his regime.”

‘Navalny was tortured’

“Alexei Navalny was tortured and tormented for three years. As Navalny’s doctor told me: the body cannot endure such things. Murder was added to Alexei Navalny’s sentence,” said Russian Nobel Peace Prize winner Dmitry Muratov.

‘Killed by Putin’

“Obviously he was killed by Putin. Like thousands of others who have been tortured,” said Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, adding that this demonstrates why Putin must be made to “lose everything and held accountable for his actions”.

‘Questions to answer’

“I am deeply saddened and concerned about reports coming from Russia that Alexei Navalny is dead, all the facts have to be established and Russia has serious questions to answer,” NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg told journalists.

‘Unjust imprisonment’

“Deeply shocked by the death of Alexei Navalny. We demand clarification of the circumstances of his death, which occurred during his unjust imprisonment for political reasons,” said Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares.

‘Paid with his life’

Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz recalled occasions when he had spoken with Navalny about the “great courage” that prompted him to return to Russia after recovering in Berlin from a poisoning attack.

“He has now paid for this courage with his life,” said Scholz.

‘Punish Putin for ‘atrocities’

“I’d like Putin and all his staff… to know that they will be punished for what they have done with our country, with my family and with my husband,” Alexei Navalny’s wife Yulia Navalnaya said.

“We should fight this horrific regime in Russia today. Vladimir Putin should be personally held for all the atrocities they have committed in our country in the last years.”

‘Murdered him slowly’

“Putin tried and failed to murder Navalny quickly and secretly with poison, and now he has murdered him slowly and publicly in prison,” chess legend Garry Kasparov wrote on social media.


with AFP