From a Siberian jail, a prominent Russian-British opposition figure has urged Russians not to give up after the death of Alexei Navalny.

Vladimir Kara-Murza, who holds Russian and British citizenship and studied at the University of Cambridge, was detained in April 2022 and charged with spreading false information about the Russian army in Ukraine.

He was later also charged with high treason over public speeches he made that criticised Kremlin policies and the war in Ukraine.

“We owe it … to our fallen comrades to continue to work with even greater strength and achieve what they lived and died for,” Kara-Murza said in the footage during a court appearance from jail. The video was shared by the Russian Sota telegram channel.

This week, Kaza-Murza accused Vladimir Putin of being “personally responsible for the death of Alexei Navalny”.

Concerns over Kara-Murza’s already fragile health have been rising since Navalny’s death.

Kaza-Murza was moved in January to a prison in Siberia and frequently placed in the notorious shizo solitary confinement over minor infractions.

In 2015 and 2017, he fell into comas in Moscow after displaying symptoms that doctors said were consistent with poisoning.

Kara-Murza – a close friend of the former opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, who was shot and killed in 2015 – nearly died from kidney failure in the first poisoning, which he blamed on the Kremlin.

Kara-Murza’s wife and some of his allies have indicated that they were hoping to involve him in a prisoner exchange to get him out of Russia.

But a UK Foreign Office minister on Monday ruled out such a prisoner swap, arguing that such moves only encouraged state hostage-taking.

Kara-Murza is one of several high-profile opposition figures imprisoned in Russia. Among them is Ilya Yashin, a close friend of Navalny who this week said he feared for his life after death of the opposition leader.

“Of course, I understand the risks I face. I’m behind bars. My life is in Putin’s hands and it’s in danger,” he said.

“As long as my heart beats in my chest, I will fight tyranny. As long as I live, I will fear no evil,” Yashin said in a post shared on social media by his allies.

Since the start of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, tens of thousands of Russians have been detained for opposing the war, according to the human rights group OVD-Info. According to a separate report published by the Russian investigative outlet Proekt, more than 100,000 Russians have been victims of political repression since 2018.

2024-02-22T13:12:41Z dg43tfdfdgfd