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Alexei Navalny, a lifetime of resistance and sacrifice

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The primary opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin had survived a poisoning try in 2020. When he returned to his nation after months of restoration in Germany, he knew he would find yourself in jail. He died there on Friday, aged 47.

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The final identified photos of Alexei Navalny alive sum up his character and martyrdom. Filmed by the web media outlet Sota on Thursday, February 15, on the eve of his loss of life, they present the opposition chief showing earlier than a courtroom in Kovrov through a display screen, from his jail colony in Kharp, within the Arctic. They document one of many numerous procedures pitting him in opposition to the jail administration.

Freshly extracted from solitary confinement to look in courtroom, Navalny appeared slimmed down however in fine condition, smiling and even in a position to joke with the decide that his financial institution accounts had been operating dry and that the courtroom’s choices had been “serving to to empty them.” Choose and prisoner parted cordially; even the uniformed bailiff flashed a smile. The next day, the jail administration introduced Navalny’s loss of life. The 47-year-old prisoner leaves behind a spouse, Yulia, and two youngsters, Daria, 22, and Zakhar, 15.

Proper as much as the top, within the more and more uncommon messages he managed to get out, he displayed his optimism, his good humor even. But his situation was trigger for despair: Sentenced to a number of phrases in jail (the longest being 19 years), he was dealing with different costs, a litany that had the whiff of a life sentence.

Political ambition

Till the very finish, too, he refused to make the slightest concession to the regime he had fought in opposition to for 20 years, contesting each determination made by his jailers, even going as far as to demand the fitting to type a union of prisoners and guards. Even after his imprisonment, Navalny by no means deserted his ambition to enter politics. In his messages and in courtroom, he continued to vilify Vladimir Putin and denounce the Russian president’s “felony” struggle in Ukraine.

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Three of his legal professionals are in jail for serving to to cross on these messages, which had been then printed on social media. Navalny himself paid a heavy value for this persistence. Following his arrest on his return to Russia in January 2021, he was despatched to solitary confinement 27 occasions, on probably the most flimsy of pretexts: “did not button his uniform correctly,” “did not put his arms behind his again whereas strolling,” “quoted a call of the European Courtroom of Human Rights” or “did not clear the yard correctly.”

Radical denunciation of the system

Within the prisons of the Vladimir area the place he was held till his switch to the Arctic in December 2023, the prisoner was additionally subjected to casual pressures: assaults by fellow inmates, unanswered requests for winter boots, and refusals of medical remedy, which led him to go on starvation strike for over three weeks in April 2021. In solitary confinement, he regularly shared his cell with an insane, unwashed prisoner, who screamed all day lengthy. Navalny additionally complained of getting to hear, day after day, to lengthy reruns of Putin’s speeches.

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