Ukraine Confirms Navalny’s Death from ‘Natural’ Blood Clot, Echoing Kremlin’s Statement

Ukrainian Military Intelligence Chief Kyrylo Budanov confirmed that Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny died due to a blood clot, corroborating Russian officials’ claims. Speaking at the ‘Ukraine: Year of 2024’ summit on Sunday, Budanov informed reporters, “I may disappoint you, but as far as we know, he indeed died as a result of a blood clot.”

Budanov indicated that the official cause of death provided by the Kremlin had “been more or less confirmed,” stressing that his information “wasn’t sourced from the Internet, but, unfortunately, natural [causes].” 

Last week, Navalny’s body was released to his mother, Lyudmila. Initially, President Volodymyr Zelensky suggested that Navalny, a pro-war ultranationalist who transitioned into a progressive anti-war activist towards the end of his life, was “likely killed by Putin” in the Arctic penal colony where he was serving a prison sentence.

Despite the absence of official results regarding the causes of Navalny’s death, Western leaders hastily attributed blame to Vladimir Putin and escalated tensions in Eastern Europe. Joe Biden asserted Putin’s “responsibility” for Navalny’s death shortly after initial reports surfaced and subsequently imposed over 500 new sanctions on Russia in retaliation. 

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak accused the Kremlin of “killing” Navalny, echoing his predecessor Boris Johnson’s assertion that there could be “no doubt” the Russian leader had Navalny “put to death.” Hillary Clinton also weighed in, claiming Navalny had “been killed,” citing intelligence available to the U.S. government.