The killing of Alexei Navalny reveals Russian President Vladimir Putin to be an arrogant barbarian with no regard for civility or humanity. It reveals that Russia considers the West feckless. It should be a wake-up call for the US and Europe. It removes any illusions that Putin is yet another leader of a country that we simply do not understand. It confirms that Russia and the democratic US and Europe are at the crossroads of a conflagration unless we address this problem now.

The death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is significant because Navalny was the leading opponent to Russia's and Putin's regime, even though he was thousands of miles away from Moscow, in a prison camp in the Arctic Circle.

Navalny was not a threat to Putin's presidential ambitions. In essence, by languishing in the Russian prison system, he would have become irrelevant after a while. There was no way that the Kremlin would have released him and he would eventually have died.

Advertisement

Why did Putin kill him? Simply, because he decided that he wanted to.

Three days before his demise, Navalny's mother met with him and later posthumously stressed that he was well and in good spirits. On the day before his death, he appeared before a Russian facsimile of a court and actually joked and ridiculed the judicial system. His immediate death was not anticipated. Yet Putin decided to kill him on the eve of an upcoming presidential election – a farce in Russia and in the midst of fragile US resolve to help Ukraine. 

It Will Take an Energy Transition to Keep the Lights on in Ukraine
Other Topics of Interest

It Will Take an Energy Transition to Keep the Lights on in Ukraine

In the wake of Russian strikes on Ukrainian electricity infrastructure, the nation must keep the lights while also considering how to reconstruct its electricity system and make it more resilient.

For many, Navalny is a difficult person to understand. He was once a man safe in exile, having been a medical patient in the West after the Kremlin tried to poison him. He could have stayed (relatively by Russian standards) safe and become a leader of the opposition in Russia from exile. Instead, he decided that he had to die to make any significant difference in the Russia that he apparently loved and hoped to change.

Very few could have done what Navalny did. He went back to Russia, essentially to be killed. There are few Navalnys in this world. To grasp the significance of his sacrifice, we need only consider some alleged leaders in our own country: Tucker Carlson, Speaker Mike Johnson, former President Donald J. Trump.

Advertisement

A comparison of these individuals with Navalny would not be laughable, but disproportionate only because there is nothing laughable about Navalny's death. But this is what we have in the US today: Carlson, Johnson and Trump.  All misplaced. Carlson has no business being a journalist. Johnson has none being the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Trump is an aberration as former president of the United States and a candidate once again for the highest office. 

It is possible that Putin in his arrogance has made a mistake. Thugs and strongmen do make mistakes. In democratic societies, we seem to think that the other side is exact in its evil. Putin has been emboldened recently by his poll numbers in a farcical election where all opposition has been essentially eliminated and what appears to him to be a US betrayal of Ukraine with Putin’s friend looming in the near distance as the next US president.

Aside from the tragedy of a human death, there is a huge political component to Navalny's demise. Navalny, because of who he was and his courage, has transcended simple humanity. He was a symbol and may become a martyr to future generations, although Russian culture is almost impervious to anything good or decent.

Advertisement

There has been a world reaction to Putin's killing of Navalny. World leaders have expressed their opprobrium against Putin. They have clearly accused Putin of murder. Even Speaker Johnson has addressed the killing. There may and should be a tangible reaction.

And so let's refrain from scoffing at people hiding fecklessness behind religious zealotry like Johnson, who talk good Christianity and reverence to the Bible but are indifferent to their fellow human beings. 

Give Speaker Johnson a chance to do what is right. He has spoken, but the response from him should be putting the aid for Ukraine bill to a vote immediately. Speaker Johnson, consult the Bible. You must know what is wrong and be able to find it in Scripture. Killing is wrong. 

In the interim and because of US fecklessness, another Ukrainian city has fallen, Avdiivka. An immediate and overwhelming vote in favor of military aid to Ukraine by the House should be the US response to Putin's murder of Navalny. The best response to Putin's and Russia's killing machine is a military victory of democracy and good over evil in Ukraine.

Advertisement

The views expressed are the author’s and not necessarily of Kyiv Post. 

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Comments (3)

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
Imokru2
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

The author of this article gives far more importance to Carlson than he deserves, he is just a political commentator that was fired by Fox News.

The USA is in a lot of trouble right now. It has two main political parties that have failed the nation by putting forth two men who are too old and doctrinaire to be President.

In this miasma of darkness resides Nikki Haley. A bright young leader of a new generation who, if given the chance, will right the ship of state. Listen to her. Study what she proposes.
She might very well run as an Independent under New Labels and shake the smug political establishment to the core.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
Brian
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

It means that Navalny is going to start to stink if they don't get him planted pretty soon.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
John
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

I think it means the common russian is a spineless twit for allowing this thug leader to continue to oppress and murder them.

I think it means for weak knee allied leadership that that have something else to pompously talk about with indignity, and then turn around and do meaningful about it.

I think it means for the putin's MGRA cult that works to stymy any meaningful response, that they get a pat on their putinrump and maybe another PAC contribution from russia.

I think for the observant electorate in allied nations it means that putin adoring political parties should never be elected again. These include:

-The far right AfD, FPÖ, Greece’s Golden Dawn, Hungary’s Jobbik, France’s Front National, Italy’s Northern League, the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), and Belgium’s Vlaams Belang (VB), USA's MAGA.

- The far left, the most pro-Russian parties are Cyprus’s AKEL, Germany’s Die Linke, the Czech Republic’s KSCM, Podemos in Spain, and Syriza, New Left. The Italian Five Star Movement and the Human Shield Party in Croatia also belong to the pro-Russian camp. Antifa.

Several of EU's far right leaders, such as Nigel Farage, Geert Wilders, Marine Le Pen, are frequent guests on Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik. Of course we all know Tucker Carlson only parrots putin and putinrump.

Brian
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

@John, Your globalist bias is clear, thank you. It's refreshing for someone to come right out and declare that socialist tyranny really gives them a woody.

John
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

@Brian, MRGA troll "Maddy" did you get a gender change?

I have news for you sunshine. The world is a globe. It spins around each day, and as it does it's attached people and nations seek to trade with each other in mutually beneficial ways. We cannot all be self sufficient and experts in all trades like yourself. I know exactly what your next question will be: Maddy: "Well then if the earth is spinning why are we not flung off it.like the water drops from my long hair when I shake my head after a shower". Well that would take more words to explain then we have room for. So suffice it to say the earths rotational forces do not exceed that of its gravity.

The only flat earth mentality isolationists that seek to withdraw from global integration are the despot leaders of nation's that live in fear their oppressed citizens will learn they could be part of something bigger and better. Those despot leaders, who need to murder their opposition and start insurrections when their populace try to get out from under their malicious control.

Eventually those autocratic regimes flounder and their despot leaders sow dissent to shift blame to others. Some of the worst even try to murder and steal from their neighbours since they've groomed nothing of value in their tenure worth trading. Being a good neighbour means you help those who are victimized by thugs like putin.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png