Russian Oligarchs

Russian Supreme Court Chief Justice Vyacheslav Lebedev dies days after meeting with Putin 

Vyacheslav Lebedev, who was chairman of Russia’s Supreme Court since December 1991, died in Moscow on Feb. 23. Lebedev was 80 years old and died after a “prolonged illness.”

Vyacheslav Lebedev, aged 81, was reportedly battling a cancer-related illness, according to Russian newspaper Kommersant.

“He was a true fighter. He battled until the very end. He was involved in the Supreme Court’s work literally up to his last day,” a source told Kommersant.

Chief Justice Vyacheslav Lebedev Met Putin

Lebedev’s passing occurred shortly after his meeting with Putin on February 6. During their discussion, they focused on the integration of digital technology in judicial processes and efforts to enhance the accessibility and transparency of the judiciary.

Vyacheslav Lebedev’s recent meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on February 6 focused on the functioning of the judicial system. Previously, Lebedev had served as the Chairman of the Supreme Court of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic for two years before the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

The Russian judiciary has faced criticism for its close alignment with the Kremlin, often seen as endorsing oppressive legislation and delivering politically motivated verdicts. Human rights organizations such as OVD-Info report over 1,000 political prisoners in Russia, with some individuals detained for expressing dissenting views on Russia’s actions, including describing the conflict in Ukraine as a “war” or sharing anti-war sentiments.

Putin commended Lebedev, stating, “Under your leadership, the Supreme Court has made significant strides in ensuring transparency and accessibility in our judiciary for our citizens.”

Lebedev’s death marks another significant loss among high-ranking officials during Putin’s tenure.

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