April 18, 2024

Alexei Navalny, the most formidable critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his corrupt circles, who survived a poisoning and endured brutal persecution for years, died in the “Polar Wolf” Arctic penal colony. The Federal Penitentiary Service of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District claimed that Navalny “felt unwell” after he went on a walk and “almost immediately lost consciousness.” Prison officials said that a resuscitation was unsuccessfully attempted.

Navalny has long been a thorn in Putin’s side and was relentlessly smeared by the Kremlin’s cheerleaders. Even after his demise, Russian propagandists couldn’t feign any dignity or humanity. Head of RT Margarita Simonyan posted on X (formerly Twitter) that the so-called “victims” of Navalny’s corruption investigations keep calling her, wishing for him not to rest in peace. She hypocritically claimed she couldn’t join them in those wishes, but only because she is observing an Armenian Lent.

Alexei Navalny Sacrificed Himself to Show Russia That Putin Is a Monster

In 2021, Simonyan described Navalny as “a traitor of the Motherland” and argued that like any traitor, he deserves to die. Referring to the Skripals and Litvinenko, Simonyan asserted that any method is acceptable when it comes to the people she deemed to be “traitors.”

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that “Russia needs to answer all the serious questions about the circumstances of his death.” Simonyan sniped back, “Russia owes nothing to no one, let’s start with that.”

Since in Russia “death of natural causes” can mean many different things, especially with respect to the opposition leaders and journalists, Simonyan immediately started to stir up rumors of foul play—not by Putin, but his enemies. She wrote, “Everyone has long forgotten him, there was no point in killing him, especially before the elections, it would be beneficial to completely opposite forces.”

Simonyan shared a post from a Telegram channel “BP Online” that said, “This is the retaliation for the interview. Thankfully, it wasn’t [Tucker] Carlson.” Despite Putin’s displeasure with the way Carlson’s interview with him had unfolded, the former Fox News host is a darling of the Russian state media, where he is described as the only American they wouldn’t want to kill.

This feeling is clearly mutual. On Monday, while he was at the World Government Summit in Dubai, Carlson was asked by Egyptian journalist Emad El Din Adeeb why he never pressed Putin about the freedom of speech in Russia and why he “did not talk about Navalny, about assassinations, about restrictions on opposition in the coming elections.”

Carlson coldly replied, in part, “Every leader kills people. Some kill more than others. Leadership requires killing people.” He openly endorsed the elimination of inconvenient opposition figures and journalists, falsely alleging that this kind of a domestic policy is common everywhere.

Other Russian propagandists also pushed the idea that Navalny’s death was somehow beneficial to the West, implying that foul play was involved. Writer Nikolai Starikov posted on Telegram, “Navalny departed from life at a very convenient time for the Western puppeteers” and argued that this may have been done to undermine the PR effect of Carlson’s interview and to prompt the U.S. Congress to approve the aid to Ukraine. Starikov claimed that Navalny’s wife Yulia is at the Munich Security Conference on the same day, which is “part of the plan.”

Alexei Navalny’s Death Is the Passing of More than Just One Man

Despicably, Starikov claimed that Navalny’s widow “is barely holding back her smile.” His revolting post was boosted by Vladimir Solovyov, a notorious state TV host who for years maligned Navalny as a “traitor,” smeared his followers as “Satanists” and proclaimed that he deserved the death penalty. Now, in light of an untimely death of Russia’s most prominent opposition leader, Russian propagandists are both enjoying it and pretending that anyone but Putin is to blame.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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