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Yulia Navalnaya, Alexei Navalny’s wife, says she will take up his fight

In Europe
February 19, 2024

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Yulia Navalnaya, the wife of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, said she would carry on her dead husband’s fight against President Vladimir Putin.

Navalnaya, described by some as the “First Lady” of Russian opposition, called for supporters to rally behind her in a nine-minute video shared to social media days after Navalny’s death in an Arctic penal colony on Friday.

“I will continue Alexei Navalny’s work … I want to live in a free Russia, I want to build a free Russia,” she said. “I ask you to share with me the rage. The fury, anger, hatred for those who dare to kill our future.”

Navalnaya has said that Putin killed her husband, a 47-year-old former lawyer who was a fervent critic of the Russian president and was serving a three-decade sentence on a conviction widely viewed as politically motivated. Navalny’s relatives and legal team said they have been prevented from viewing his body at a morgue.

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Navalny’s commitment to free Russia gives nation ‘hope’

Source:  The Guardian

Navalny posed a threat to Putin’s Russia, and may have been killed for his dissidence, Russian author Mikhail Shishkin wrote in The Guardian. It’s impossible to know what kind of president Navalny may have been, he said, because “the only way to find out would have been for him to win a free election, but for that you need free citizens.” Navalny returned to Russia from a German hospital where he was treated for poisoning in 2021, knowing he would likely be imprisoned for his outspoken opposition to the Kremlin. “By existing, by refusing to give in, by making that supreme sacrifice, he has given us all hope. We are now his hope,” Shishkin wrote.

Putin’s regime emboldened to silence dissidents

Source:  Financial Times

Putin is now fighting “a war on two fronts,” one expert argued. The Russian president has targeted not only Ukrainians in the nearly two-year invasion of the country, but also Russians themselves, Alexander Baunov, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Russia Eurasia Center, wrote for the Financial Times. Putin’s regime has become aggressive, and emboldened to take severe actions against political foes. “Navalny’s death is a profound watershed for modern Russia,” Baunov wrote. That he was globally recognized as Russia’s opposition leader “greatly irritated the Kremlin,” he added, “But that very irritation is itself a sign that Putin is not as confident either in himself or the future as he wishes to appear.”

No going back from Russia’s current political trajectory

Source:  Novaya Gazeta Europe

Navalny’s likely murder is a “point of no return” for Putin, one Russian journalist argued. “It is now clear that his dictatorship will continue exterminating people until it is forced to desist,” wrote Kirill Martynov, the editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta Europe, an independent Russian outlet. Russians who believed that Putin would eventually be reasoned with, or who have turned a blind eye to the war in Ukraine, now have no choice but to confront the nation’s trajectory, he said. Navalny’s death was intended to “demonstrate that there is no alternative to the current path and that daring even to consider another one could lead to physical annihilation.”

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