Alexei Navalny, who the Russian prison service says died on Friday, was a man as ambitious as he was spectacularly brave — punished for actions that would have been rewarded elsewhere.

All of those in the West who admire Russian President Vladimir Putin for his strength and anti-liberal values should take a long, hard look because Navalny’s fate is the true face of the Kremlin’s rule.

Navalny was arrested countless times for political protests, poisoned with a nerve agent and jailed in effect for life on charges of extremism. In reality, he was punished for daring to oppose and expose the kleptocracy of Russia’s ruling class.