The Short Life and Sad Death of Alexei Navalny

Dr. Munr Kazmir
4 min readFeb 16, 2024

Opposing Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to be bad for the health.

Street art featuring the likeness of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny. 2021. (Photo: duncan cumming)

Russian dissident Alexei Navalny — targeted, poisoned, and imprisoned during his relatively short career as Vladimir Putin’s most outspoken critic — has died in a Russian prison.

He was 47.

Alexei Navalny, the vocal critic of Vladimir Putin, dies in prison,” reported Jon Haworth, Patrick Reevell, and Nadine El-Bawab for ABC News today.

“On 02/16/2024, in correctional colony №3, convicted Navalny A.A. felt ill after a walk, almost immediately losing consciousness,” said the Russian prison service in a statement. “The medical staff of the institution immediately arrived, and an ambulance team was called. All necessary resuscitation measures were carried out, which did not yield positive results. The doctors of the emergency medical service pronounced the convict dead.”

President Joe Biden expressed outrage at Navalny’s death and used the occasion to push recalcitrant Republicans for more military aid to Ukraine.

“The failure to support Ukraine at this critical moment will never be forgotten,” President Biden warned portentously. “And the clock is ticking. This has to happen. We have to help now.”

While some in the press believe that “The idea of total Ukrainian victory is delusional” (Andrew Lathan, The Hill. February 15, 2024.) even Ukraine’s staunchest allies are beginning to wonder “Can Ukraine Still Win?” (Keith Gessen, The New Yorker. February 15, 2024).

It’s unclear how Navalny’s death might complicate or escalate the situation in Ukraine. President Biden once promised consequences, should Navalny die in prison. Now that Russia has crossed that particular red line, Biden might retaliate.

Or he might not.

Like other world leaders, President Biden blamed Navalny’s death on Putin and his allies.

World leaders blame Putin for Alexei Navalny’s death in a Russian prison,” reported the Associated Press today.

Now that he is gone, media outlets from one end of the globe to the other are lionizing Navalny’s bravery and commitment to the truth.