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Nadezhdin: 'I pray that the information turns out to be untrue'

by The Kyiv Independent news desk February 16, 2024 3:04 PM 2 min read
TOPSHOT - Boris Nadezhdin, the Civic Initiative Party presidential hopeful, arrives at the Central Election Commission to submit signatures collected in support of his candidacy, in Moscow on January 31, 2024. (Vera Savina / AFP via Getty Images) 
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“I pray that the information (about Alexei Navalny’s alleged death) turns out to be untrue,” aspiring Russian presidential candidate Boris Nadezhdin wrote on his official Telegram channel on Feb. 16.

Nadezhdin’s headquarters reportedly contacted the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) and the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the far northern Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District, where Navalny has been held in a penal colony.

According to Nadezhdin, the FSIN responded that the “information is being rechecked” and the investigative committee hung up the phone without giving a response.

Nadezhdin reiterated that Russian opposition leader Navalny’s team has not given any official confirmation and that his lawyer is en route to the penal colony to confirm the news firsthand.

Russian media reported on Feb. 16 that Navalny died in prison. Navalny was being held in a penal colony in Russia's far northern Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District.

According to the prison service, Navalny supposedly lost consciousness and could not be revived.

Navalny's lawyer, Leonid Solovyov, declined to comment on the news, the Russian state-controlled media outlet Kommersant reported.

"By decision of Alexei Navalny’s family, I am not commenting on anything at all," he said.

U.S. President Joe Biden warned in 2021 that there would be "devastating consequences for Russia" if Navalny died in prison.

The penal colony that Navalny was held in is located in a remote settlement north of the Arctic Circle, with "tough conditions" and limited access to letter delivery, according to Zhdanov, the head of the Anti-Corruption Foundation established by Navalny.

Navalny was previously held in the IK-6 Melekhovo high-security prison in Russia's Vladimir Oblast.

Navalny had been serving a 2.5-year prison sentence since 2021 and a separate 9-year sentence on fraud charges since 2022.

A Russian court also sentenced Navalny to 19 years in a maximum security prison in August 2023 on extremism charges for creating the Anti-Corruption Foundation.

All these cases have been recognized as politically motivated and fabricated by international human rights organizations and governments.

Navalny was poisoned in Russia in 2020 and flown for treatment in Germany. German doctors said he had been poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent — a chemical weapon produced by the Russian government.

The Insider, Bellingcat, CNN, and Der Spiegel published an investigation according to which Navalny had been poisoned by agents of Russia’s Federal Security Service. They also identified the agents' names.

BREAKING: Russian opposition leader Navalny reportedly dies in prison
The famed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has reportedly died in prison, Russian media reported on Feb. 16.
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