Putin admits he wanted Navalny gone

Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned the late opposition leader Alexei Navalny for the first time in public while claiming victory in a managed election for his fifth term in the Kremlin.

“As for Mr. Navalny. Yes, he passed away. This is always a sad event,” Putin said after the polls closed in Russia. “But we’ve had other cases when people passed away in places of detention. Doesn’t this happen in the U.S.? It’s happened more than once.” 

Navalny died in an Arctic penal colony last month, a deadly denouement of a yearslong story of dissidence that Russian authorities countered with an unsuccessful assassination attempt and then his imprisonment. Putin claimed that Navalny’s death occurred after the Kremlin chief had agreed to release him.

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks on a visit to his campaign headquarters
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