Independent Russian news site The Insider reported on Tuesday that the Deputy Director of Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN), Valery Boyarinev, had been promoted to the special rank of Colonel General by Vladimir Putin. The announcement was posted on the Kremlin’s official internet portal, just three days after the death of Alexei Navalny.

On Tuesday Ivan Zhdanov, the director of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, posted an image of the decree on X, where he wrote that the promotion was a “personal reward for torture and murder from Putin.”

As deputy director Boyarinev oversees all FSIN operational work including the departments responsible for managing the activities of prisons and other operational units.

According to Vladimir Osechkin, founder of the human rights project, Boyarinev had intervened on several occasions to ensure that Navalny would be treated harshly and personally oversaw the torture of “political prisoners” as well as forcing Ukrainian POWs to confess to genocide and executions of civilians in order to provide the Kremlin with justification for the war.


In 2021, Boyarinev went out of his way to remind reporters covering the trials of Navalny that he had been deprived of the right to vote in elections.

At a court hearing in July 2023 Navalny’s lawyers petitioned for him to be allowed to buy additional food from a prison canteen, which is normal as the authorities provide only subsistence rations. It became clear that Navalny had been prevented from doing so after Boyarinev gave instructions to prison staff at the IK-6 prison, where Navalny was then being held, to prevent the convicted politician from buying extra food.

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On Feb 16, the prison authorities from the IK-3 “Polar Wolf” penal colony in Russia’s Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, where Navalny was serving a 19-year sentence, announced his death. To date, his body was not released to his relatives and, according to Navalny’s supporters, the committee charged with investigating his death, will keep him for at least 14 days.


The leaders of the European Union and the United States said that Russian President Vladimir Putin is responsible for Navalny’s death in prison. The Kremlin, commenting on this, called the statements “hysterical, absolutely rabid and absolutely unacceptable,” saying no conclusions can be drawn until forensic experts release their findings.

On the fourth day after the death of her husband, Yulia Navalnaya recorded a video message in which she said she would continue Alexei’s work. After that, she met with the EU leadership.

The news of Boyarinev’s promotion has also added to the outrage felt by Navalny’s death, which most social media commentators have already categorized as murder. Putin’s opponents were quick to brand the upgrade as a reward for “fulfilling Putin’s wish – the physical elimination of his main political opponent.”

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Comments ( 1)
Bob Boomhauer
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Photo of an orc-pig in a hat. Very nice.