Alexi Navalny Killed in Prison

Russian Socialist Movement

Alexey Navalny in the middle of the crowd, Moscow rally March 10, 2012

ALEXI NAVALNY WAS killed in prison. Federal penitentiary service reported the death of the politician but it is evident that he did not die by himself, he was killed by Vladimir Putin. Navalny’s anti-corruption investigations and campaigns helped to politicize millions of Russians and to inspire thousands of activists — many of whom did not share his political views but believed in the possibility of change in Russia. He and his organization, Anti-Corruption Foundation, were able to organize mass anti-Putin’s rallies until 2021.

Navalny was one of the authors of Russian populism, which in spite of its rightist credentials tended to problematize oligarchic capitalism — drawing attention to poverty and inequality in Russia, distinguishing between ordinary Russians and the absurdly rich Russian state ruling clique which derived its enormous wealth from usurpation of power, corruption, acquisition of public funds and property, tortures, murders and wars.

Putin was afraid of Navalny. His assassination is a clear political signal that Putinism is entering a new phase, which allows for physical elimination of political opponents and, maybe, anyone who is considered a threat to survival of the regime. It means that the life of all political prisoners in Russia is at risk. We must anticipate escalation of violence within and outside of Russian and new “unexpected” deaths of political activists.

By killing Navalny the murderous and genocidal Putin’s regime wants to demotivate Russian opposition. We must act contrary to its expectations. To end the dictatorship we must enhance our solidarity and self-organization. Navalny’s death is an example of political martyrdom which must inspire us to continue political actions rather than frustrate us. We must not give up. The murderers will be punished, the dictatorship will be overthrown.

Statement from the Russian Socialist Movement, February 16, 2024

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