In Memoriam, Alexei Navalny

Alexei Navalny died at the age of 47 in an arctic prison camp run by Putin’s notorious prison administration. There he lived under atrocious conditions of solitary confinement and unbearable temperatures. Prison authorities are already claiming that his death stemmed from an errant blood clot. Given the Kremlin’s record of lying about such matters, we will never know the cause of death, but the personal responsibility for Navalny’s death is born obviously by Vladimir Putin.

Since Navalny’s narrow escape from Putin’s Novichok poisoners, other than a brief convalescence in Germany, he has been in Putin’s political prison network. He was convicted of the crime of “terrorism,” for opposing Putin, suggesting the need for democracy, and exposing the pervasive corruption of the Putin regime. Additional sentences were piled on to make sure that Navalny would not experience one day of freedom for the rest of his life. Unlike members of Western media, held hostage by Putin, Navalny was particularly isolated in order to censor his ideas from his Russian audience.

Navalny’s end was to be death from prison conditions or murder. The latter would have been more humane. It is noteworthy that Tucker Carlson, in his two hour interview with Putin, to his shame, raised no questions about Aleksei Navalny. Vladimir Putin himself, and not his prison officials, is uniquely responsible for Navalny’s death by slow or fast murder. Putin and his regime, therefore, must be found guilty of such in a legitimate court of international law.

The civilized world should no longer tiptoe around the Putin regime, a regime that should be properly labeled as a criminal undertaking and should be removed from the face of the earth.

Dr. Paul R. Gregory is a Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, a Research Professor at the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin and a member of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation’s Academic Council.

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation mourns the death of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny and stands in solidarity with those who continue his march for the freedom of all Russians against the Kremlin’s totalitarian regime. Navalny’s steadfast courage in the face of abject oppression, including his condemnation of the war in Ukraine, was a beacon of hope to millions. Join us in remembering the legacy of a true Russian patriot, and VOC Dissident Human Rights Awardee, Alexei Navalny.