We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

File image of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny Alamy Stock Photo
Alexei Navalny

Biden says Putin 'responsible' for Navalny's death, Tánaiste calls it reminder of 'repressive' regime

Tánaiste Micheál Martin has said Navalny’s death ‘underpins lack of protection of human rights in Russia’.


US PRESIDENT JOE Biden has said Russian President Vladimir Putin is “responsible” for the death of opposition Alexei Navalny’s death.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny mobilised huge anti-government protests against Vladimir Putin before being jailed in 2021.

The prison service of the Yamalo-Nenets region, in North-Western Russia, said in a statement that Navalny “felt bad after a walk” and almost immediately lost consciousness.

The statement added that paramedics at the scene confirmed the death of the jailed political leader and that the “causes of death are being established”.

Saying he was “outraged” by the news, Biden said he did not yet know exactly what had happened to Navalny, but that it was the fault of Putin and his “thugs.”

“Make no mistake, Putin is responsible for Navalny’s death. Putin is responsible,” Biden said in televised remarks from the White House.

“What has happened to Navalny is yet more proof of Putin’s brutality. No one should be fooled.”

Biden said he was “looking at options” on how to respond but did not go further.

Hailing Navalny’s achievements, Biden said: “Even in prison he was a powerful voice for the truth. God bless Alexei Navalny, his courage will not be forgotten.”

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said: “Navalny fought bravely against corruption. Putin’s Russia fabricated charges against him, poisoned him, sent him to an arctic penal colony and now he has tragically died.

“Putin should be accountable for what has happened – no one should doubt the dreadful nature of his regime.”

Meanwhile, Tánaiste Micheál Martin has said he is “deeply shocked” by Navalny’s death and called it a “reminder of the repressive” nature of Putin’s regime.

Martin said Navalny’s death “underpins the lack of respect for the rule of law and protection of human rights in Russia”.

He added that it is a “a reminder of the repressive nature of the regime against its own people” and noted that Ireland had “consistently called for Navalny’s unconditional release before his death”.

President Michael D Higgins has also issued a statement this evening regarding Navalny’s death.

“The freedom to express dissenting views, be it on the structure or administration of society, is a fundamental tenet of a democracy and any accountable system,” President Higgins said. 

“The incarceration of Alexei Navalny contradicted this. It is important that all of those who believe in these principles support the making available of all of the facts surrounding Alexei Navalny’s death.”

Martin and Cameron are both attending the Munich Security Conference and at that event, Cameron said there should be “consequences” for Putin.

Speaking to broadcasters at the Conference, Cameron said Navalny was an “incredibly brave fighter against corruption”.

Asked whether there should be consequences, Cameron said: “There should be consequences because there’s no doubt in my mind that this man was a brave fighter against corruption, for justice, for democracy, and look what Putin’s Russia did to him.

“They trumped up charges, they imprisoned him, they poisoned him, they sent him to an Arctic penal colony and he’s died, and that is because of the action that Putin’s Russia took.”

In 2020, Navalny was poisoned with a Soviet-era nerve agent and accused Putin of being behind the attack – something the Kremlin denied.

Additional reporting by © AFP 2024

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.