Headline RoundupDecember 12th, 2023

Imprisoned Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny is Missing, Aides Say

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has not been heard from for nearly a week, his allies have said.

The Details: Navalny, who is serving a 30-year sentence for extremism and other charges, was expected to be transferred to a “special regime” prison colony, however, his aides are unable to verify his presence on any prison’s roster. Last week, Navalny collapsed and was put on an IV, likely due to malnutrition, but lawyers have seen him since then, describing his condition as “relatively well.” Navalny’s aides have spoken out, but the Kremlin has not offered an immediate comment.

For Context: Navalny is the most notorious member of the anti-Kremlin resistance and was poisoned in Siberia in 2021. After treatment in Germany, he voluntarily returned to Russia, where he was promptly arrested, raising his profile significantly outside of Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his candidacy in next year’s presidential elections shortly after Navalny’s disappearance.

How The Media Covered It: Sources across the spectrum noted how notoriously long prisoner transfers in Russia can be. Reuters (Center bias) offered significant context on Navalny’s status as a dissident and included a perspective from one of his aides, who said his disappearance is “0% coincidence and 100% direct manual political control from the Kremlin.” The Guardian (Lean Left bias) mentioned Navalny’s recent health issues. Reuters and Fox News (Right bias) did not.

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