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Putin on Navalny: “A sad incident, but that’s life”

Putin on Navalny: “A sad incident, but that’s life”

After his re-election, Vladimir Putin comments for the first time on the recently deceased Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. Its supporters call the statement cynical.

For the first time in years, Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin publicly mentioned the name of his opponent Alexei Navalny. After his victory in the presidential election, Putin described the death of the formerly imprisoned Kremlin critic as a “sad incident.”

All of the Kremlin leader’s best-known critics are either dead, imprisoned or in exile. “As for Mr. Navalny. Yes, he died. This is a sad incident,” Putin said at a news conference broadcast by state television. Putin publicly called his opponent by name for the first time in years.

Putin also said he was ready for a prisoner exchange shortly before Navalny’s death. A few days before Navalny’s death, some colleagues told him that there was an idea to swap Navalny for some people who are in prison in Western countries. “I said: ‘I agree,'” Putin said, adding: “There was only one condition: we wanted to exchange him so that he wouldn’t come back.”

“Unfortunately, what happened happened,” Putin continued. “There’s nothing you can do about it, that’s life.” Navalny’s long-time confidant Leonid Volkov called Putin’s statement a month after the death of the Kremlin opponent “cynical.” Putin actually killed his opponent so that he wouldn’t have to be replaced. He described Putin as a “blood-sucking bug” who would soon burst.

Putin: Protests have no impact on election results

Putin thanked his compatriots for “their support and trust.” “No matter how much they want to intimidate us, no matter how much they want to oppress us – no one in history has ever managed to do something like this,” Putin said, pleading for the country’s unity. “It didn’t work now and it won’t work in the future. Never.” Russian troops have a clear advantage in Ukraine.

Despite threats from the authorities with harsh punishments, there were individual protests on the sidelines of the election; according to the civil rights organization OWD-Info, at least 80 people were arrested. Authorities reported arrests for “vandalism.” Accordingly, people poured green dye into ballot boxes at polling stations, and voters also set off Molotov cocktails or fireworks when casting their votes.

Putin said the protests had “no impact” on the election. However, the authorities would “deal with” those “who destroyed their ballot papers.”

Alexei Navalny’s widow called for protest

Navalny’s widow, Yulia Navalnaya, had called on Putin opponents to flock to the polling stations at noon as a sign of protest and to vote for Putin’s opponent or to invalidate ballot papers with the inscription “Navalny”. Navalnaya herself cast her vote at the Russian embassy in Berlin, where supporters greeted her with flowers and applause. According to her own statements, she also wrote her husband’s name on the ballot paper.

Kremlin critic Navalny, who was sentenced to a long prison sentence, died in a prison camp in Siberia in mid-February. The circumstances of his death are still unclear to this day. Authorities say Putin’s harshest critic collapsed while touring the icy prison yard. Attempts at resuscitation were unsuccessful. His widow Yulia Navalnaya believes that her husband was murdered in the camp.

Shortly after Navalny’s death, it was reported from his circle of confidants that he should actually have been exchanged for the so-called Tiergarten murderer, who was imprisoned in Germany. Accordingly, Vadim K., who was convicted in Germany in December 2021, should have been extradited to Russia – in return for Navalny and two unnamed Americans. It was said that a corresponding offer was made to Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin at the beginning of February.

Source: Stern

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