“Listen, I’ve got something very obvious to tell you. You’re not allowed to give up. If they decide to kill me, it means that we are incredibly strong.” – Alexei Navalny
My deepest condolences to Alexei Navalny’s family and friends, to his staff, and to the people of Russia.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) February 16, 2024
In which it was as predictable as it is unfathomable. The Death of Alexey Navalny, Putin’s Most Formidable Opponenthttps://t.co/9z1r6qSmlQ
— masha gessen (@mashagessen) February 17, 2024
Alexey Navalny spent at least a decade standing up to the Kremlin when it seemed impossible. He was jailed and released. He was poisoned, and survived. He was warned to stay away from Russia and didn’t. He was arrested in front of dozens of cameras, with millions of people watching. In prison, he was defiant and consistently funny. For three years, his jailers put him in solitary confinement, cut off his access to and arrested his lawyers, piled on sentence after sentence, sent him all the way across the world’s largest country to serve out his time in the Arctic, and still, when he appeared on video in court, he laughed at his jailers. Year after year, he faced down the might of one of the world’s cruellest states and the vengeance of one of the world’s cruellest men. His promise was that he would outlive them and lead what he called the Beautiful Russia of the Future. On Friday, they killed him. He was forty-seven years old.
Hours after the news of his death broke, his widow, Yulia Navalnaya, addressed the Munich Security Conference. “I don’t know whether to believe the news, the terrible news, which we are only getting from state-controlled sources in Russia,” she said, from the conference’s main stage. “As you all know, for many years we’ve been unable to believe Putin and his government. They always lie. But, if it is true, I want Putin and everyone around him, his friends and his government, to know that they will be held responsible for what they have done to our country, to my family, and to my husband. The day of reckoning will come very soon.”…
Navalny, who was educated as a lawyer, became active in politics in the early two-thousands and emerged as a public figure around 2010. His early politics were ethno-nationalist, at times overtly xenophobic, and libertarian. He advocated for gun rights and a crackdown on migrants. But he found his agenda and his political voice in documenting corruption. He built a movement based on the premise that citizens, even in Russia, could and should exercise control over the way that government money is spent. In the ensuing years, he evolved from an ethno-nationalist to a civic nationalist, from a libertarian to a social democrat. He learned new languages, read incessantly, and incorporated new ideas into his program. He focussed, increasingly, not only on political power but on social welfare. During the past three years, he used the pulpit provided by an endless series of court hearings to air his political views. In a courtroom speech on February 20, 2021, he outlined a vision for a country with a better health-care system and a more equitable distribution of wealth. He proposed changing the slogan of his political movement from “Russia will be free” to “Russia will be happy.” He continued to assert this hopeful agenda, even as he grew more and more gaunt and even as he was forced to appear in court on a video screen, separated from his audience by glass, a grate, and thousands of miles…
Harris: “Imagine if we went easy on Putin, let alone encouraged him. History offers a lesson. If we stand by while an aggressor invades its neighbor with impunity, they will keep going. … Other authoritarians across the globe will be emboldened. … Isolation is not insulation”
— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) February 16, 2024