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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Navalny’s Widow Slams Putin: ‘Gangster’ President

Yulia Navalnaya, widow of Russian opposition figure Aleksei Navalny, has denounced President Vladimir Putin as a “gangster” and called on Western governments to reject his legitimacy following his expected reelection in the upcoming presidential vote starting on March 15.

In a piece published on March 13 in The Washington Post, Navalnaya characterized Putin as a corrupt figure who has manipulated elections and eliminated his critics through imprisonment, killings, or coercion.

According to Navalnaya, Putin’s animosity towards her late husband stemmed from Navalny’s vocal condemnation of Putin and his associates as gangsters who seized power for personal gain and ambition.

Navalnaya, whose husband passed away last month under suspicious circumstances at the age of 47 while serving a prison term, reiterated her belief that he was murdered on Putin’s orders, a sentiment echoed by world leaders and Russian opposition activists, though denied by the Kremlin.

In her op-ed, Navalnaya aimed to convey key messages that Navalny had long advocated before the Russian electorate cast their votes.

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Navalnaya emphasized the need for a fundamental shift in how governments perceive Putin, highlighting his uncontested reelection bid and urging recognition of his true nature as a mafia-like figure rather than a legitimate political leader.

She urged nations to reject the election results as a signal to Russian civil society and elites that Putin’s rule is not universally accepted but rather condemned.

Navalnaya argued for widespread sanctions targeting Putin’s allies across various sectors, to undermine the regime by depriving key figures of their resources and fostering internal divisions.

Despite existing sanctions by the US and EU, Navalnaya stressed the importance of further action, as Russia has managed to withstand previous measures with support from allies like China.

Navalnaya implored Western leaders to support Russian dissenters by refusing to recognize Putin’s legitimacy, emphasizing the need for the international community to see through Putin’s facade and stand with those opposing his rule.

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