Jailed Brit Vladimir Kara-Murza ‘is clearly next’ on Putin’s hit-list after Navalny leaving wife ‘fearing for his life’

Jailed Brit Vladimir Kara-Murza ‘is clearly next’ on Putin’s hit-list after Navalny leaving wife ‘fearing for his life’

FEARS are growing for the jailed British Kremlin critic who is “clearly next” on Putin’s kill-list following the sudden death of Alexei Navalny.

Vladimir Kara-Murza, 42, who was sentenced to 25 years last April in a hellhole Siberian prison, is both “very ill” and a “prime target” for the despot, an expert warned The Sun.

APVladimir Kara-Murza is feared to be ‘next’ on Putin’s hit-list and the UK must save him, an expert told The Sun[/caption]

AP‘He could die before he is murdered.’ Dr Stepan Stepanenko warned[/caption]

BBCThe Brit father’s distressed wife, Evgenia, said she that she fears for his life after Navalny’s death[/caption]

Refer to CaptionThe activist and politician was arrested shortly after Putin invaded Ukraine for opposing the war and lobbying for sanctions against Moscow[/caption]

Kara-Murza holds both a British and Russian passport and worked as a prominent opposition politician in Moscow before he was locked up on trumped-up charges of treason last year.

He was a close aide to murdered opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, – who was shot dead by a hit squad in Moscow in 2015 – and a vocal critic of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Dr Stepan Stepanenko, head of the Forward Strategy foreign policy think-tank, told The Sun that he believes he is Putin’s “next” target.

“Vladimir Kara-Murza is imprisoned on false charges, he is very ill and following Navalny, it is clear that he is next”

The father-of-three, who grew up and studied in Britain, suffers from a nerve disorder after two poisonings in 2015 and 2017 that he blames on the Kremlin.

“He may even die before he is murdered,” Stepanenko said. “Kara-Murza’s battle is not just against his captors but against time itself.

“Stricken with polyneuropathy, the grim reality is that he may never reunite with his family.”

The UK must step up to save him, he said. “We have a British national in Russian prison.”

Kara-Murza’s heartbroken wife, Evgenia, also spoke out over the weekend, telling the world that she fears her husband’s “life is in danger”.

She revealed she is terrified that he will meet the same fate Putin’s greatest foe Navalny, who Russia now claims died of “sudden death syndrome” and whose closely-guarded body was reportedly found covered in bruises.

“I have been afraid for my husband’s life since at least 2015, since that first call that I received about Vladimir collapsing in Moscow and going into [a] coma with multiple organ failure for no reason at all,” she told the BBC.

“I’ve been sleeping with my phone since, dreading yet another call of that sort.

“I believe that my husband’s life is in danger, as are the lives of many other political prisoners in Russian prisons.”

Evgenia said that Kara-Murza and other jailed dissidents that are suffering from “serious medical conditions” were being denied proper medical treatment “in order to make the state of their health deteriorate”.

She added that although she is afraid, she will always fight for her husband’s release.

“Continuing the fight is important, telling the stories of the people who are suffering from the regime is important.”

The former activist and journalist was sentenced to 25 years in April, 2023 by Putin’s cronies for spreading “false” information about Russia’s war in Ukraine.

He denied all the charges, comparing the case against him to a Stalinist show trial.

He was arrested only weeks after Russia’s full-scale invasion and just hours after CNN broadcast an interview with him in which he said Russia was run by “a regime of murderers”. 

Russia expert Dr Stepanenko said: “Putin views Kara-Murza as a formidable adversary.

“Navalny’s explosive exposés on Putin’s lavish lifestyle were a thorn in the side, but Kara-Murza struck at the heart of Putin’s empire by championing [US sanctions against Moscow], dealing a heavy blow to Russia’s economic ambitions well before 2022.

“In Putin’s eyes, losing money and power are akin to losing his life, making Kara-Murza a prime target for his attack.”

In January, Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron said he was “deeply concerned” over the fate of the dissident after he – similarly to Navalny in December – suddenly disappeared from his prison cell.

Evgenia later discovered he had been transferred to a new Siberian prison and immediately placed in a punishment block.

His only crime was not standing up in time when the guard commanded him to “rise” and he was slammed with a “malicious violation”, according to the letter he wrote to his lawyer.

The Cambridge graduate is now spending four months in painful solitary confinement.

More than 160 Russian citizens have been imprisoned for opposing the war, according to human rights group OVD-Info – however Kara-Murza’s sentence is the harshest so far.

A total of 19,854 Russians were arrested between February 24, 2022 and January 28, 2024 for speaking out or demonstrating against the invasion.

Soon after Kara-Murza was sentenced last year, The Sun spoke to Evgenia who insisted her husband would never give up his struggle.

She described how he had already survived two assassination attempts, which she believed were carried out on Putin’s direct orders.

“He was poisoned twice by an unknown substance. Both times it happened in Moscow,” she said.

“He developed very weird symptoms suddenly and ended up in a coma with multiple organ failure.

“Both times he was given a five percent chance of survival. He was lucky enough to survive the times because of the very dedicated team of doctors who treated him.”

Afterwards, he suffered severe nerve damage and had to re-learn how to carry out tasks as simple as buttoning up his shirt and pouring tea, but both times he soon went back to work.

She told The Sun that her jailed husband isn’t brave, but “stubborn”.

That stubbornness, Evgenia said, also comes out of her husband’s genuine love for his country.

“My husband is a genuine Russian patriot, and he has fought for years to bring change in our country,” she said.

In Kara-Murza’s final speech to the court after his sentencing he said that he only “failed” in one thing.

Failing “to convince enough of my compatriots and politicians in democratic countries of the danger that the current Kremlin regime poses for Russia and for the world”.

He compared the Russia of today to that of the Soviet Union in the 1930s, when Stalin was carrying out a series of repressive show trials and purges of his political opponents.

“For me, as a historian, this is cause for reflection,” he said. “Criminals are supposed to repent of what they have done.

“I, on the other hand, am in prison for my political views. I also know that the day will come when the darkness over our country will dissipate.”

Alexei Navalny – Putin’s number one critic – suddenly died in prison on Friday and world leaders blamed Putin for his death

Navalny’s death was ‘inevitable’

By Jerome Starkey, The Sun’s Defence Editor

NAVALNY’S death is shocking – but there’s also a sense of inevitability about this.

His spokesperson had warned that they thought he was being slowly killed in prison.

And indeed, the lifespan of Kremlin critics is tragically short.

It was astonishing in many ways that Alexei Navalny had survived.

We’ve had Latvia’s president calling this a brutal murder by the Kremlin.

We’ve had President Zelensky of Ukraine, saying Putin killed him.

Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Schulz and France’s Foreign Minister are saying that Navalny paid for his principles with his life.

There is certainly no doubt that as a result of his political activism. As a result of daring to stand up to Vladimir Putin.

Alexei Navalny exposed himself to enormous risk and hardship. We know that he was poisoned.

We know that he’s been jailed. He’s been held in horrific conditions. Indeed, you know.

Many, many days of his time in this penal colony have been in solitary confinement in punishment cells.

His health appears to have been deteriorating. So in that sense, you know, he’s been jailed by the regime that Putin leads.

He’s been poisoned with a nerve agent, a military grade nerve agent that is only really available to Putin’s assassins.

And that clearly would have had long-term health implications. So in that sense, clearly the Kremlin regime, led by Vladimir Putin, is culpable for his death.

 It is not clear yet exactly what caused his death. But there’s no doubt that the Kremlin regime, led by Vladimir Putin, is culpable to some extent because of what they’ve inflicted. 

AFPLord David Cameron said he was ‘deeply concerned’ about Kara-Murza in January after he briefly disappeared from his prison cell[/caption]

Ian WhittakerThe Sun spoke to Evgenia last year who said her husband would never give up his struggle against Putin[/caption]

The British-Russian citizen grew up in the UK before pursuing politics in Moscow

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