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If Navalny dies, he becomes a martyr - VG

If Navalny dies, he becomes a martyr – VG

Enemies: President Putin will not even take the name of the opposition politician Navalny in his mouth. Yet this understated person is causing Putin more headaches than any other domestic political opponent since the turn of the millennium.

It’s been 550 days since Alexei Navalny was put in prison – and Vladimir Putin has done everything to crush dissent.

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Navalny has now been transferred to a prison that the President of Russia, Arkady Ostrovsky, recently called the “torture chamber”.

This is a man who could have walked around a western city as a free man and enjoyed the summer with his wife and children – if not for the fact that he chose to sacrifice himself.

President Putin’s FSB friends hate Alexei Navalny after he survived their attempt to poison him.

That he later managed to find the culprits etc. Summon one of these customersIt didn’t make him more famous.

Imprisonment: Alexei Navalny when he had to appear before a court in Moscow in August 2018.

At the same time, Alexei Navalny is now such a prominent leader of the opposition that he could cause major problems for President Vladimir Putin if he dies in prison. If he dies, then Navalny will become a martyr.

His strength – after all – is that he is in Russia and in prison.

The Kremlin warned him not to return home from Germany. It would have been better for them to have him in the West than in Russia.

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Navalny knew he would be arrested as soon as he set foot on Russian soil, but he went anyway, and although he is expected to be imprisoned for many years, it is a headache for the Kremlin.

After the invasion of Ukraine, a number of opposition figures – whether they were lawyers, journalists, writers, artists or human rights defenders – found themselves forced to leave Russia.

Some have done like Navalny – he stayed.

This applies, for example, to Vladimir Kara-Murza, whom I met by chance on the street in Vilnius a few days after the poisoning of Navalny, and who told me that he himself was twice tried with poison.

Threatened: The critic of the Russian regime, Vladimir Kara-Murza, was twice subjected to assassination attempts by poisoning.

A lawyer who has defended the opposition in several court cases and is now in exile in Georgia told me that Putin may have started preparing for war in Ukraine by getting out as many opposition as possible already before February 24, 2022.

After the invasion began, the Russians poured into the streets to protest. More than 15,000 were arrested. The police cracked down hard on the protesters.

Today, no one dares to protest anymore.

The regime is getting rid of the few opposition leaders who are still in the country.

Navalny’s classmate Ilya Yashin was sentenced to 15 days in prison for disobeying police orders. Now they want to put him on trial for defaming the army – which could get him a much worse sentence.

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Journalist Maria Ponomarenko is accused of the same. She was sent to a mental hospital for four weeks, according to her lawyer.

It was a method often used against opposition figures in the Soviet era.

Her “crime” was that she posted on Telegram after Russia bombed a theater in Mariupol, killing hundreds of civilians.

In the mental hospital: journalist Maria Ponomarenko.

A third example is St. Petersburg’s organist, Alexandra Skosgelenko, who became famous this spring when she walked around and exchanged price tags in a store with anti-war messages.

She is also accused of “false” information about the armed forces and faces up to ten years in prison.

With this background, it is curious that the Norwegian authorities have tightened the procedure for issuing Schengen visas to Russian citizens.

Most of the Russian war resisters go to Georgia, Armenia and the three Baltic states.

At the same time, it is understandable if these countries have a basic fear that one day Russia will “liberate” the Russians there too, in the same way as now in Ukraine.

BEHIND LOCK AND BLOCK: Navalny and his colleague Ilya Yashin in Moscow in 2018. The latter received 15 days in prison the other day for disobeying police orders. But they would also accuse him of denigrating the army – which could punish him with a much worse punishment.

For its part, the United States made it easier for certain groups of Russian citizens to enter and reside. Russian professionals no longer need an agreement with the employer first.

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Russian opponents claim that 50,000 to 70,000 tech workers actually left the country in the first month of the war – and many later did. This means a massive brain drain.

Wealths also disappear.

According to Henley and Company, about 15,000 millionaires will move from Russia this year – many of them to Dubai and elsewhere on the Persian Gulf.

Those who still watch state-controlled Russian television are naturally shaped by the information that appears there – which every day becomes more and more propaganda.

Alexei Navalny is among those who can watch only this TV news, who was taken to a high-risk prison between Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod.

A few days ago, he tweeted that he “lives like Vladimir Putin.” With television propaganda and songs of tribute to the FSB via the public discourse system.

It has six-meter high walls all around, “just like Putin’s Palace” on the Black Sea.

Fortunately, he still saw the light in life, Alexei Navalny.