(For Alexei Navalny)

Last week, I went to church intending to light a candle for the late Alexei Navalny, the third day after his death. When I stood before the crucifix, the thought crossed my mind – the man Alexei Navalny “with death, conquered death” and went to the IMMORTALS. Navalny, with his death, inflicted the greatest defeat on his executioner, the autocrat (euphemism for Dictator) Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.

The negative reactions of the global public opinion, sometimes with open hatred, towards Putin, portraying him as the direct executor of Navalny, completely overshadowed the pro-Russian propaganda created through the so-called Millennium interview of Tucker Carlson and Putin. According to Russian propaganda, the interview was seen by over a billion people, what nonsense. In my opinion, it wasn’t really an interview but more a “political parody” of two insecure egocentrics that only served the interests the Russian Royal Court. But enough about the interview… and even this was too much.

I had no intention of writing about these global events and so the world media from different ideological backgrounds wrote pages and pages. But I was deeply hurt and irritated by the hypocrisy that appeared in many media and social networks, so I decided to express my opinion.

I was particularly struck by the video message of Lyudmila Navalny, Alexei’s mother, standing directly in front of the sinister prison, with tears in her eyes that flow continuously, asking “President” Putin to let her see her son’s body and let her bury him humanely. But the merciful Dictator decided that Navalny’s mother should not be disturbed, so he will not give her the body for two weeks, until she calms down. The comments on Russian social networks, I believe the largest number of Putin’s bots, were hideous, inhuman, vulgar (because of the mental hygiene of the readers, I cannot quote them) and therefore, I do not believe that they are the true comments of any Russian citizen, or any Orthodox Christian. This hypocrisy of “President” Putin was also embraced by the greatest fighter for human rights, the richest in the world, philanthropist, humanitarian, and owner of “X” social network, Elon Musk. When he bought the network, Elon Musk stated that he would not allow censorship of public speech. As proof, the first thing he did was to release Donald Trump’s account. But when it comes to a request from the Kremlin, the promises are immediately forgotten, so this video message by Lyudmila Navalny was removed from the “X” network.

But the attitude of social media and the mainstream-Russian media towards Yulia Navalnaya was the pinnacle of cynicism and hypocrisy. At the moment of greatest grief, when everyone sympathizes with the relatives of the closest ones, she was literally torn apart on social media. It all started with an “analysis” of her video address. The camera setup, the lighting used, the expressions on her face, the makeup, the words she used, all led to the conclusion that it was a multi-month preparation directed by Hollywood. If it weren’t so sad, it would truly be laughable. Then came comments suggesting that her presence at the Munich Security Conference was staged precisely because of Navalny’s announced death! What? Bots attacked her with made-up stories about her immorality and marital infidelities, about her father being a KGB agent, and that she used her husband’s death for self-promotion… endless nonsense. And of course, our hero Elon Musk enters the scene, who at the request of “Roskomnadzor” censored the post and removed the video address from the “X” network. So much for the fighter for freedom of speech! So much for Putin’s Russian world and the moral credibility of the Russian Orthodox soul, something that made our little Russians faint.

I would not like to conduct an analysis of the reasons for Navalny’s death, but through indirect evidence, publicly known, we can reasonably reach the probable reasons for his death. Gary Kasparov, the renowned world chess champion, close friend, and mentor of Navalny, in his column for the “Wall Street Journal” titled “How Russia and the West Betrayed Navalny,” will write: “When a political prisoner dies, there is no need for semantic games of accusations.” This is murder by the dictatorship, terrifying how Putin pulled the strings himself… Putin killed Navalny but the responsibility lies with we Russians who couldn’t match Navalny’s courage and ended up with Putin’s dictatorship. We cannot avoid our responsibility… Alexei was a man of optimism and action, in a country of nihilism and inaction… Western politicians are guilty because the poisoning of Navalny in 2020, as well as his subsequent imprisonment, were treated only as bargaining chips in negotiations with Putin. Many words without action.”

Apart from these statements made by Kasparov, which serve as indirect evidence and allude to what happened to Navalny, there are also the decisions of the Russian authorities not to conduct an autopsy on the body, especially in the presence of international specialists. Furthermore, the reason why the body was withheld for two weeks is unclear, and what transformation might occur during that time. Navalny had already been the victim of an assassination attempt with his poisoning in 2020, on the Tomsk-Moscow flight when he fell into a coma and was rushed to a hospital in Omsk. Later, when the dictator relented to Yulia Navalnaya’s demands, he was transferred to Germany where it was confirmed that he had been poisoned with Novichok nerve agent. Navalny’s major “sins” include his lack of subservience and direct opposition to the Great Dictator.

First, in 2013, Navalny appeared in the Moscow mayoral elections and won around 700,000 votes, about 30% of the voters. However, Putin’s favorite, Sergey Sobyanin, ultimately won and remains the mayor of Moscow to this day. Then, in 2016, Navalny announced his candidacy for the presidential elections in 2018. In June 2017, he organized protests in 150 cities across Russia, according to Russian authorities, with around 150,000 people in attendance, though realistically, such numbers were only seen in Moscow. However, in the fall, Navalny greatly angered the “tsar” by organizing mass protests in 79 cities on October 7-10, coinciding with Putin’s birthday. This significantly started to “get on Putin’s nerves.”

Of course, similar to what happened to Boris Nadezhdin, who gathered 200,000 signatures out of the required 100,000, the Central Election Commission (CEC) found that 60% of the 60,000 signatures reviewed were irregular, mostly consisting of data from deceased individuals and a large number of forgeries. As a result, Nadezhdin’s candidacy for the 2024 presidential elections was rejected. Similarly, in 2018, Navalny’s candidacy was rejected by the CEC due to alleged legal issues.

But definitively, Navalny crossed the “red lines” set by Putin when he filmed the documentary “Putin’s Palace,” leading to educational measures being taken to discipline Navalny. On January 17, 2021, Navalny returned from treatment in Germany and was immediately arrested at Sheremetyevo Airport for violating a suspended sentence. He was sentenced to two and a half years in prison. Unfortunately for Putin, on January 19, 2021, the world saw Navalny’s film, completely exposing Putin’s public image. In the film, which undoubtedly has more views than the “interview of the century,” you can meet the real personality of the greedy, opportunistic, vindictive, and immoral Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. After this, the pathway  to Navalny’s death began.

Until 2018, according to “Bild,” Navalny had spent 485 days in prison from 2011 to 2018. After his imprisonment on January 17, 2021, he was again sentenced to 9 years in prison in March 2022, for embezzlement of funds. These funds were from his “Anti-Corruption Foundation,” which exposed hundreds of corruption scandals involving Putin and his cronies. Emphasis was placed on the misuse of foreign funds by the foundation, which led to the closure of the “Anti-Corruption Foundation.” It’s worth mentioning that the foreign aid came from three individuals and amounted to a total of 80 euros!? However, even with this, the “tsar” was not satisfied. In August 2023, Navalny was sentenced to 19 years of strict imprisonment in solitary confinement for “extremism.” For his rehabilitation, the “tsar” ordered him sent to the northernmost of all northern prisons, the former “gulag” of Stalin, Yamalo-Nenets. If Navalny had not died in the Russian camps, he would have been released in 2038.

Mark Galeotti, theoretician of war and columnist for “The Spectator” wrote, “How the West Can Truly Avenge Navalny’s Death“; William Hague for “The Times” wrote “It’s Time for Putin to be Punished“; Gerard Baker for “The Wall Street Journal” wrote, “The Moral Blindness of Putin’s Right-Wing Apologists“; John Kirby for “The Guardian” wrote, “US Prepares a Large Number of Sanctions Against Russia” … and so on. As Kasparov has said, “Many words without action.” In the meantime, in Spain, the “riddled” body of Maxim Kuzminov, another dissenter of Putin, was found.

One thing is certain, Alexei Navalny “defeated death by death” and went to the company of the IMMORTALS!


Oliver Andonov


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