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How Putin took pleasure in Alexei Navalny’s penal colony plight and demanded updates on the brutal punishment he was receiving while ‘demanding footage’ of him in cell


Vladimir Putin would ask for updates about the brutal punishments dished out to Alexei Navalny at the penal colony where he collapsed and died yesterday, it has been claimed.

The Russian president is accused of the ‘murder’ his most vocal critic, who died while serving a 19-year prison sentence in an Arctic penal colony.

Reports have previously claimed Putin ‘wants to know everything that happens to Navalny. All the details, the punishments’. It has even been claimed he demanded footage of Navalny inside the grim colony where he was held.

Prison guards have also been accused of trying to ‘destroy Navalny’s health by all forces and means’, according to the opposition leader’s lawyer Vadim Kobzev.

Navalny was last seen at a court appearance on Thursday. Footage of the hearing showed the 47-year-old smiling and cracking jokes about the judge’s salary – remaining brave in the face of his deadly plight.

A view of the entrance of the prison colony in the town of Kharp, in the Yamalo-Nenetsk region about 1,200 miles northeast of Moscow, Tuesday, January 23, 2024

A view of the entrance of the prison colony in the town of Kharp, in the Yamalo-Nenetsk region about 1,200 miles northeast of Moscow, Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Vladimir Putin, pictured in Russia on Friday, reportedly demanded updates about Navalny in prison, where guards have been accused of trying to 'destroy [the opposition leader's] health by all forces and means'

Vladimir Putin, pictured in Russia on Friday, reportedly demanded updates about Navalny in prison, where guards have been accused of trying to ‘destroy [the opposition leader’s] health by all forces and means’

‘Your Honor, I will send you my personal account number so that you can use your huge salary as a federal judge to ‘warm up’ my personal account, because I am running out of money,’ Navalny said, triggering grins from others in the courtroom.

He appeared in a black prison uniform and spoke from behind a barred window.

Hours later, Navalny was dead. Russia’s prison service said he had collapsed and lost consciousness following a walk at the penal colony. Medics were unable to revive him, according to the announcement.

His lawyer said recently that Navalny had lost 7kg in weight and was ‘deliberately infected’ with an unknown acute viral respiratory disease while in a hell-hole punishment cell.

Navalny ‘was not given proper medicines, but ‘was treated with huge doses of antibiotics which should not have been used’, Kobzev said.

The lawyer said: ‘Navalny was told that he was being transferred to a cell for the maximum possible period of six months.

‘These actions cannot be regarded otherwise than as an open strategy to destroy Navalny’s health by all forces and means.’

Along with reports that Putin showed a sadistic interest in Navalny’s treatment, it has even been claimed previously that he requested video footage and live streams of the opposition leader in prison.

The stunning news of Navalny’s death — less than a month before an election that will give Putin another six years in power — brought renewed criticism and outrage directed at the Kremlin leader who has cracked down on all opposition at home.

The online news outlet SOTA reported that the court session on Thursday was convened after an ‘argument’ with a prison officer who tried to confiscate Navalny’s pen.

Navalny wrote later on Thursday that he had been given 15 days in solitary confinement.

Since first being jailed in Jan. 2021, Navalny had been in and out of solitary confinement, which is often used to punish rulebreakers in the Russian prison system.

After the hearing, Navalny took to social media. ‘The Yamal prison decided to break Vladimir’s record of fawning and pleasing the Moscow authorities. They just gave me 15 days in solitary confinement,’ he wrote on X.

‘This is the fourth solitary confinement spell in less than 2 months that I have been with them,’ he added.

It was the last such message he wrote. 

Russian news outlets announced Navalny's death - citing the Siberian prison service where he was serving his sentence - sparking shock and anger around the globe, with world leaders quickly pointing the finger at Russian president Vladimir Putin (pictured in Russia today)

Russian news outlets announced Navalny’s death – citing the Siberian prison service where he was serving his sentence – sparking shock and anger around the globe, with world leaders quickly pointing the finger at Russian president Vladimir Putin (pictured in Russia today) 

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny is escorted out of a police station on January 18, 2021

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny is escorted out of a police station on January 18, 2021

Navalny, pictured with his wife Yulia in happier times, crusaded against official corruption and staged massive anti-Kremlin protests - drawing the ire of the Kremlin

Navalny, pictured with his wife Yulia in happier times, crusaded against official corruption and staged massive anti-Kremlin protests – drawing the ire of the Kremlin

Praise for Navalny’s bravery poured in from Western leaders and others who have opposed Putin’s rule.

The opposition leader’s health has deteriorated recently and the cause of death may never be known, but many world leaders said they held Russian authorities ultimately responsible for his death.

If confirmed, ‘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,’ U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said while at a conference in Germany.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Navalny ‘has probably now paid for this courage with his life.’

Standing at Scholz’s side, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy — whose country is fending off Russian invasion — said: ‘Putin doesn’t care who dies in order for him to hold onto his position.’

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin was informed of Navalny’s death. The opposition leader’s spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that the team had no confirmation yet.

Shortly after the death was reported, the Russian SOTA social media channel shared images of the opposition politician reportedly in court yesterday. In the footage, Navalny can be seen standing up laughing and joking with the judge via video link.

Navalny was moved in December from a prison in central Russia to a ‘special regime’ penal colony — the highest security level of prisons in the country — above the Artic Circle.

His allies decried the transfer to a colony in the town of Kharp, in a region about 1,900 kilometers (1,200 miles) northeast of Moscow, as yet another attempt to force Navalny into silence.

Before his arrest, Navalny campaigned against official corruption, organized major anti-Kremlin protests and ran for public office.

In Putin’s Russia, political opponents often faded amid factional disputes or went into exile after imprisonment, suspected poisonings or other heavy repression. But Navalny grew consistently stronger and reached the apex of the opposition through grit, bravado and an acute understanding of how social media could circumvent the Kremlin’s suffocation of independent news outlets.

He faced each setback — whether it was a physical assault or imprisonment — with an intense devotion, confronting dangers with a sardonic wit. That drove him to the bold and fateful move of returning from Germany to Russia and certain arrest.

Prison authorities repeatedly put Navalny in a tiny cell to punish him for minor infractions. Last month, he said that he was placed in such a cell after officials accused him of refusing to ‘introduce himself in line with protocol.’

Placement in the small cell means that prisoners are only allowed to walk outside in a narrow concrete prison yard in the early morning. ‘Few things are as refreshing as a walk in Yamal at 6:30 in the morning,’ he wrote.

Navalny was born in Butyn, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) outside Moscow. He received a law degree from People’s Friendship University in 1998 and did a fellowship at Yale in 2010.

He gained attention by focusing on corruption in Russia’s murky mix of politicians and businesses; one of his early moves was to buy a stake in Russian oil and gas companies to become an activist shareholder and push for transparency.

By concentrating on corruption, Navalny’s work had a pocketbook appeal to Russians’ widespread sense of being cheated, and he carried stronger resonance than more abstract and philosophical concerns about democratic ideals and human rights.

He was convicted in 2013 of embezzlement on what he called a politically motivated prosecution and was sentenced to five years in prison, but the prosecutor’s office later surprisingly demanded his release pending appeal. A higher court later gave him a suspended sentence.

The day before the sentence, Navalny had registered as a candidate for Moscow mayor. The opposition saw his release as the result of large protests in the capital of his sentence, but many observers attributed it to a desire by authorities to add a tinge of legitimacy to the mayoral election.

Navalny finished second, an impressive performance against the incumbent who had the backing of Putin’s political machine and was popular for improving the capital’s infrastructure and aesthetics.

Navalny’s popularity increased after the leading charismatic politician, Boris Nemtsov, was shot and killed in 2015 on a bridge near the Kremlin.

Whenever Putin spoke about Navalny, he made it a point to never mention the activist by name, referring to him as ‘that person’ or similar wording, in an apparent effort to diminish his importance.



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