Mysterious Deaths of Putin Critics

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Russia’s most prominent opposition leader Alexei Navalny died under mysterious circumstances in prison on Friday.

Alexei Navalny was one of the staunchest opponents of President Vladimir Putin. He was serving 19 years in prison. Critics believe that the case in which he was sentenced was politically motivated.

Navalny accused Putin of “sucking the blood of Russia” through a “feudal state” that is the center of power in the Kremlin.

According to the Russian news agency, the causes of Navalny’s death are being investigated. Navalny’s lawyer has told the media that he will not comment at this time.

During President Putin’s tenure, at least 20 of his opponents or critics, dubbed ‘traitors’, have been killed in mysterious circumstances in Russia or abroad.

This list also includes Yevgeny Prigozhin, who caused quite a stir in Russia last year.

Yevgeny Prigozhin was the head of the mercenary group Wagner. He was fighting against Ukraine on behalf of Russia.

After months of criticizing Russian military leadership in the war in Ukraine, on June 23, he ordered Wagner’s fighters to seize the Russian city of Rostov, near the Ukrainian border.

Not only that, but he ordered Wagner’s fighters to advance towards Moscow, apparently with the aim of forcing the resignation of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and his close associates. However, following the efforts of the Belarusian president, Prigozhin soon ordered Wagner to withdraw.

2 months later, Yevgeny Prigozhin died in a plane crash. Several countries, including the United States, France, and Great Britain, accused the Russian authorities of being behind the crash.

The killing of political opponents under President Putin started with Vladimir Golovlyov. Golovlyov used to be a supporter of Putin but later started criticizing the president.

Golovlyov was shot and killed in Moscow on August 21, 2002 while walking with his dog.

A year after Golovlyov’s death, a member of parliament named Sergei Yusheenkov was also shot dead in the streets of Moscow.

Golovlyov and Yushenkov were planning to form a political party called Liberal Russia. However, Golovylov was killed before that. Yushenkov founded the party on October 22/2002.

He was shot dead near his house in Moscow on 17 April 2003, just hours after finally obtaining the registrations needed for his Liberal Russia party to participate in the December 2003 parliamentary elections.

Yushenkov was the strongest proponent of reform in the Russian Army, and he campaigned tirelessly to abolish conscription, reduce the size of the Army, and protect all rights of military personnel who suffered from abuse and dedovshchina. Yushenkov was a prominent critic of the First and Second Chechen Wars, arguing that the Russian Army’s operations in Chechnya were illegal.

Another case came to light on October 7, 2006, when Anna Politkovskaya, a journalist of the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, was murdered. He criticized the Russian forces in Chechnya highlighting human rights violations.

On February 27, 2015, former Russian Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov was assassinated near a building that houses President Putin’s office.

Boris Nemtsov has been a critic of Putin, particularly on his Ukraine policy. He was also critical of Putin’s efforts to keep himself in power. He had to go to jail three times as punishment for this criticism.

In November 2006, famous Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko died after suddenly falling ill in a London hospital. He died from the highly toxic radioactive material polonium-210.

While taking refuge in Britain, he accused Russian authorities of ordering him to kill Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky.

Boris Berezovsky was found dead in his home in the UK in March 2013.

In March 2018, former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia living in the UK were allegedly poisoned by Russian secret agents.

In December 2022, a well-known Russian figure, Pavel Antov, died after falling from a third floor window of a hotel in India. According to Forbes, Antov was the richest Russian lawyer in 2019.

According to the BBC, Antov criticized Russia’s missile strikes on Ukraine.

A day before his death, a friend of his, who had accompanied him, was found dead in the same hotel.

Another critic of Putin, the chairman of Russia’s largest private oil company, Ravil Maganov, died after allegedly falling out of a hospital window in September,2022.

Ivan Pechorin, the managing director of the Far East and Arctic Development Corporation and a point man for Putin on the development of the Arctic, died after falling off his boat in the same month.

You may be surprised to know that all critics of Russian President Putin die suddenly under very mysterious circumstances. The latest death on the list is that of Russian opposition leader and Putin critic Alexei Navalny, although Russian officials are treating Navalny’s death as natural. However, looking at Russia’s past record regarding Putin’s critics raises many questions.

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