April 22, 2024

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In a provocative message, Putin vowed to approve Navalny's release days before his death: “But unfortunately what happened”

In a provocative message, Putin vowed to approve Navalny's release days before his death: “But unfortunately what happened”
Vladimir Putin speaks after the closing of polling stations in Moscow, Russia March 18, 2024 (REUTERS)

In a provocative message on TV, Vladimir Putin spoke about the death of his biggest rival, opposition leader Alexei NavalnyRussia warned the West it would not allow itself to be “intimidated or crushed” and thanked them for their support in the referendum, which, according to the Kremlin, it won with 88% of the vote.

Speaking publicly by name for the first time in years, Putin said: “Mr. As for Navalny, yes, he is dead. “It's a sad event.”. And he added: “Mr. A few days before Navalny's death, Some colleagues told me…some people in jail in western countries have an idea to exchange Navalny…I said I agree. But unfortunately what happened happened”.

Navalny died suddenly in an Arctic prison last month. His body was kept for several days and finally handed over to his relatives and the cause of death remains suspicious. His wife Yulia Navalnaya and his supporters claim he was murdered.

A coffin with the remains of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny outside Sooth My Soros Church after a funeral and farewell ceremony in Moscow, Russia, March 1, 2024.

In addition to a brief mention of Navalny, Putin devoted much of his speech to highlighting his election victory this Sunday. The presidential elections were held against a background of extreme repression Political opposition and freedom of expression in Russia since the Soviet era. Only three token candidates — and none who oppose his war in Ukraine — could run against Vladimir Putin.

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“First of all, I want to thank the citizens of Russia. We are all one team. All citizens who went to the polls and voted,” Putin said. “This victory, in the literal sense of the word, forces us to defend the interests of our citizens with arms,” ​​he said.

“Russia will not be intimidated or crushed. No one in history has been able to do something like this. It doesn't work today and it won't work in the future. Never,” the Kremlin leader said in a televised address.

Putin, 71, He has already served two four-year terms and two six-year terms, serving as interim prime minister. In it he continued to be the strongest man in the country.

Putin warned the West

emerged from the Soviet KGBSince his arrival in the Kremlin on December 31, 1999, he has implemented a vertical power structure characterized by years of steady hardening and an attempt to regain geopolitical influence lost with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Hardening led him to impose on the oligarchs of the establishment, unleash a second war in Chechnya, and stifle public liberties, the press and the opposition. The quest for geopolitical power had its milestones in the war in Georgia (2008), annexation of Ukrainian Crimea (2014), military intervention in Syria (2015) and invasion of Ukraine (2022).

Had he completed a new term, he would have been in power longer than any other Russian leader since Catherine the Great in the 18th century.

Growing up….