Conspiracy Theories Swirl After Putin Critic Dies in Prison

( – Few people tend to challenge Russian President Vladimir Putin. Many people believe that those who do don’t live to tell the tale. There have been suspicious deaths surrounding the Kremlin’s leader, though he’s never been convicted of any that people have tried to tie to him. Alexei Navalny was an outspoken opponent who was allegedly poisoned and then jailed on extremism charges. He recently died in custody, and that has sparked a host of conspiracy theories.

Who Was Navalny?

Alexei Navalny was an opposition leader who tried to challenge Putin for the country’s leadership. He was the Russian leader’s fiercest opponent, one who didn’t back down from the challenge. Before that, he worked his way through school to become a lawyer, taking on anti-corruption projects and fiercely speaking out against the regime. He was jailed several times for various charges, including speaking out against a government official, fraud, and embezzlement. In December 2016, he announced he would run against Putin for president.

In 2017, ironically, he was retried for a crime and found guilty, which then led to his being deemed invalid to run. That didn’t stop him, though. Navalny continued to lead protests and speak out against the perceived corruption running rampant in the country. In 2020, he fell ill on a flight, leading his team to believe he’d been poisoned, and then in 2021, he was jailed, becoming the most prominent political prisoner in the country.

His Death

On February 16, Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service said Navalny died after a walk during which he claimed to feel unwell. Officials said they tried to resuscitate him, but couldn’t. His death came as a surprise to some, but not many. In fact, Navalny himself said he believed he would be jailed for life, despite his prison sentence being 19 years.

The news of the opposition leader’s death sparked a bunch of conspiracy theories, namely that Putin is at the heart of it. President Joe Biden even said, “Make no mistake, Putin is responsible for Navalny’s death,” in a speech after the news broke. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that Putin’s involvement was “obvious,” while Christian Linder, Germany’s finance minister, claimed “Putin tortured him to death” for fighting “for a democratic Russia.”

Adding more fuel to the fire was the fact that Navalny’s body reportedly wasn’t available to his family. It later surfaced at a hospital morgue in the Arctic, bearing “signs of bruising.” Officials say he died of “sudden death syndrome,” a generic explanation for a sudden and unforeseen death.

Basically, there are no answers, and that has led to the public drawing their own conclusions that Putin was involved, whether directly or indirectly.

Copyright 2024,