the death of Alexeï Navalny seen by the foreign press – L’Express

the death of Alexei Navalny seen by the foreign press

“The man whose name Putin won’t say.” This is how the Russian opponent Alexeï Navalny, who died in prison this Friday, February 16, is named in an article in the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (conservative). From demonstrations to tête-à-têtes with his wife, Iulia Navalnayan, including his last moments in his cell, the daily retraces in a slideshow the significant moments in the life of the Kremlin’s number 1 enemy.

Like this German daily, many foreign media pay tribute to the prisoner, while emphasizing the hypocrisy of the Russian government, which denies any responsibility. Thus, the Dutch newspaper NRC (liberal) evokes, in its title, a “modern martyr who fought the Kremlin against all odds”.

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The daily’s Russian correspondent adds that the activist “ended up paying for his opposition with his life.” Due to his relentless accusations of the repression and corruption of the Putin regime, Alexeï Navalny was considered a real target by the master of the Kremlin.

As evidenced by his conviction, in 2021, to 19 years in prison for “extremism”. In the portrait it devotes to him, the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera (center-right) recalls that “Navalny was in the hands of his sworn enemies, who had tried to eliminate him several times.” Prisoner or free, the opponent remained a “thorn” in Putin’s side, says The Times, as he “begged the Russians not to give up or give in to their fears.”

Inhumane detention conditions

Alexeï Navalny was, “until the Kremlin succeeded in silencing him”, the “most outspoken and best-known critic of Vladimir Putin and who survived several attacks on his life”, specifies the Spanish daily El País (center left). The newspaper makes particular reference to the poisoning by a nerve agent which he suffered in 2020 in Siberia – and which he barely survived.

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“The goal was to bury the dissident,” insists the Iberian newspaper. Especially since his imprisonment in 2021 in Pokrov penal colony No. 2, Alexei Navalny has complained about inhumane conditions of detention. The Indian and English daily newspaper The Hindustan Times (conservative) returns in particular to these particularly harsh conditions. “He informed the court of a 10-minute limit for eating in the prison,” the newspaper reveals in particular.

Navalny was in fact “subject to the harshest solitary confinement regime in the Russian prison system”. “A ‘cold and damp dog kennel, without ventilation’, as he himself described it,” confirms the newspaper’s Russian correspondent NRC. And to protest: “How many attacks, tortures and humiliations can a person endure? A lot, according to what the Russian politician and activist Alexeï Navalny has demonstrated.”

Long list of assassinated dissidents

According to the Russian Prison Service (FSIN), the latter “felt unwell after a walk and almost immediately lost consciousness”. However, “it is unlikely that the official investigation will shed light on his brutal death”, regrets The Guardian.

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The British newspaper recalls that Navalny is “the last in a long line of critics and dissidents whose lives ended prematurely, at home or abroad.” Anna Politkovskaia, the journalist murdered in 2006, Evgueni Prigojine, the head of the Wagner group who died following the suspicious crash of his plane in August 2023… The list is long, as the Argentine daily also points out The Nation (conservative).

“In addition to these opponents, the list of Putin’s victims includes 39 other figures of various origins – oligarchs, civil servants, spies, military or businessmen – who died in strange circumstances over the past two years after criticized Russian intervention in Ukraine,” adds the Buenos Aires-based newspaper.