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Alexei Navalny’s Death: America’s Response

Written by Carla Elalam Edited by Annika Lilja

Image by Michał Siergiejevicz (CC BY 2.0)

The death of Russia’s most well-known opponent against Vladimir Putin, Alexei Navalny, sent shockwaves all across the globe. The former lawyer turned activist dedicated his life to exposing the current regime in Russia. He led nationalist marches, exposed the lifestyles of corrupt leaders, and founded the Anti-Corruption Foundation in Russia. Through his advocacy, he gained an overwhelming amount of support from citizens in Russia, making him a target to the country’s leaders. 

On February 16, Navalny died while serving a 19-year prison sentence in the Arctic Prison. Details surrounding his death remain unclear, with conflicting reports from Russian authorities who state that he took a walk outside the prison, felt unwell, and then collapsed. However, Navalny’s death raises concerns about the conditions of his imprisonment as he previously shared his experience from prison, including being denied crucial medical treatment, and accusing Russian agents of attempting to poison him.

As the news spread all around the world, President Biden issued a statement calling out the Russian government, “Reports of his death, if they’re true — and I have no reason to believe they’re not — Russian authorities are going to tell their own story. But make no mistake — make no mistake, Putin is responsible for Navalny’s death.  Putin is responsible.” Following this statement, President Biden reinforced the United States’ commitment to defending its NATO allies against Putin’s hostility. 

Biden is leveraging Navalny’s death to hold the Russian Government accountable for its violation of human rights and its war crimes. Over 500 new sanctions have been imposed on Russia, and the U.S. is implementing export limitations on nearly 100 entities aiding Russia's military efforts and taking action to reduce Russia’s energy revenues, increasing the efforts to hold the Russian government accountable following Navalny’s death. His death solidifies Biden's increased support for Ukraine, using it as a crucial opportunity to help the country defend itself against Putin's further aggression. The international community has rallied behind Navalny’s cause, demanding accountability, and condemning the Russian Government. 

As the world still mourns the loss of Navalny, his legacy serves as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for democracy and freedom in Russia. His death has fostered more determination, especially in America, to hold the Russian Government accountable for its actions.



“Remarks by President Biden on the Reported Death of Aleksey Navalny.” The White House, The United States Government, 16 Feb. 2024,

“Biden Announces More than 500 Sanctions on Russia after Navalny’s Death.” NBCNews.Com, NBCUniversal News Group, 23 Feb. 2024,

What We Know about Alexei Navalny’s Death in Arctic Prison | Reuters, Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.


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