16 February 2024 in Dossier Powder Keg Russia, First Home, Human Rights


In a prison north of the Arctic Circle, in Yamal, Aleksey Navalniy died. No, indeed – Aleksey Navalniy was killed. The voice of freedom and democracy. A man who needs no lengthy introduction. The Man who was not afraid of the truth. The news went around the world in a matter of minutes, Jens Stoltenberg calls for Russia to establish all the facts and claims that ‘Russia has serious questions to answer’[1] . If it was any use… NATO has always demanded the immediate release of Navalniy. To no avail.

The Russian media are very concise: ‘he felt ill during the walk, and lost consciousness almost immediately. They tried to resuscitate him, but failed’[2] . The official version given immediately[3] : thromboembolism – a blood clot in the veins, a diagnosis impossible to verify without a pathological examination, which has not yet been carried out. The fact that a ready-made diagnosis is given gives rise to suspicion. And the Ambulance that arrived in just seven minutes, flying at 300 km/h to overcome the distance of 35 km[4] – fairy tales. Anna Karetnikova, a former employee of the Federal Penitentiary System (FSIN), stated on Facebook that a blood clot in prison is a diagnosis that ‘can explain everything’[5] .

On 14 February, Navalniy spokesperson Kira Yarmysh announced that he had been sent to a punishment cell for the 27th time. According to political scientist and historian Ekateryna Shulman, who heard him speak on Monday, he had the voice of a healthy, active person who is well[6] . The official explanations and diagnoses they invent do not hold water, no matter what they invent. You can’t tell, because you risk your life, but even the Russians know that Navalniy was murdered, and they expected it, as the elections are approaching. They were afraid that his voice and that of his supporters would be too loud, and could influence the outcome.

On Aleksey’s personal Instagram profile, the latest post is from 14 February. On the photo is him hugging his wife ‘Love, we have everything like a song: city between us, airport runway lights, blue blizzards and thousands of miles. But I feel you close every second and I love you more and more ❤️’[7] . The response on social networks: love, disbelief and gratitude from his 2.9 million followers.

Navalniy knew what he was risking. In an interview he left a message for the Russian people: ‘Don’t give up. Keep believing and keep fighting. If they came to kill me, we are doing the right thing’[8] . His wife Yuliya spoke at the Munich Security Conference – it is held once a year and attended by all the powerful people of this world: Yuliya was considering whether to speak in front of an audience or get on the first plane and go to her children, but she thought about what Aleksey would do.

The last kiss between Aleksei Navalniy and his wife Yulia[9]

Here she is on stage. She doesn’t know what to believe, because the official Russian media and government have been lying, for years. But if it is true, she wants to let Putin, all his friends and everyone around him know that the day will come when they will be punished for what they have done to her country, her family and her husband. And this day will come very soon, she says. Yuliya appeals to all mankind, implores help, asks for unity to overcome evil and this horrible regime that is suffocating Russia[10] . The hall applauds standing up. Nothing will change, but the emotion overwhelms us all the same. There is still a place where the disgusting cynicism of Putin, Lavrov and their lackeys is not echoed.

I hope this event will give the Russian people strength, anger, one more reason to act, to vote, to still believe in a different future. I hope it does not end in the grey frost that has descended on the Belarusian spring. I want to believe that 10, 15, or 20 years from now, they will name a street after him, a square after him, erect a monument and name a building after him at the Supreme Court. I want to believe that there is still a chance for the victory of truth. But it will be tough: Trump and the Republicans, allies and foolish servants of Putin, told Americans this afternoon that Trump is a victim comparable to Navalniy – a freedom fighter[11] . Only Republican candidate Nikki Haley immediately had the courage to publicly stigmatise Trump and Putin’s cynicism[12] . US Vice President Kamala Harris followed her only hours later[13] .

In Russia, power has begun mass arrests and beatings for people who deposit flowers on monuments to Perestroika or the fallen for freedom – and Putin threatens and bans any public demonstration[14] . As for the assassination of Navalniy, the dictator is silent. We do not, even though we count for nothing.

Rest in Peace, you Man, Legend and Hope. Now it is our turn, in every sense.


[1] NATO – Opinion: Doorstep statement by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg ahead of the Munich Security Conference, 16-Feb.-2024

[2]УФСИН  сообщило о смерти Навального | Новости общества | Известия | 16.02.2024 (iz.ru)

[3] Telegram: Contact @thebell_io

[4] “Это внесудебная казнь”. По версии пропаганды, у Навального “оторвался тромб”. Что стоит за этой формулировкой? (istories.media)

[5] (20+) ТЭЛА, тромбоэмболия легочной артерии – это… – Анна Каретникова | Facebook

[6] Прямое включение (youtube.com)

[7] Алексей Навальный (@navalny) – Instagram photos and videos

[8] I hate this day, I hate Russian state. Thank you for everything | Instagram

[9] https://www.independent.co.uk/tv/news/alexei-navalny-dead-wife-yulia-last-kiss-b2497421.html

[10] Обращение Юлилии Навальной (youtube.com)

[11] https://www.newsweek.com/republican-compares-trump-navalny-democrats-want-him-die-prison-1870722

[12] https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/4472297-haley-blasts-trump-putin-praise-navalny-death/ ; https://www.msnbc.com/morning-joe/watch/nikki-haley-on-the-death-of-navalny-putin-did-this-the-same-putin-who-donald-trump-praises-and-defends-204345413800

[13] https://edition.cnn.com/2024/02/16/politics/kamala-harris-trump-nato/index.html

[14] https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/lexei-navalny-dies-dead-russia-opposition-putin-latest-news-5cxhh8f79

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