Navalny in prison, but his work goes on

Alexei Navalny and his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) team are among the best investigative reporters of our time.

They have documented the extreme corruption of Russian politicians and oligarchs, which goes beyond anything I would have imagined. The one on Vladimir Putin’s billion-dollar palace, financed through graft, is just one example.

It is no wonder that Putin fears Navalny, and has railroaded him into prison on trumped-up charges.  

Russians are among the poorest people in Europe, the Russian government is among the most corrupt, and the gap between rich and poor is one of the highest of any advanced nation.

There is nothing more potentially explosive that showing the struggling Russian common people the extreme wealth and luxury in which their rulers live.

Of course rankings change year-by-year, and Ukraine also has extremes of poverty, corruption and inequality.  The point is that such conditions may become intolerable when Russians are asked to make more sacrifices for the sake of winning a war of choice led by their government.

Navalny started the FBK in 2011.  In 2013, he was indicted and convicted of embezzlement from his own foundation and given a suspended sentence.  Most human rights organizations regard the changes as bogus.

In 2020, he was poisoned and received treatment in Germany.  The FBK produced a documentary showing the Russian government was behind the poisoning.  He returned to Russia in January, 2021, and was arrested for parole violation.  He was tried in March on additional charges of embezzlement and sentenced to nine years in prison.  He is appealing that sentence.

Meanwhile the FBK had been shut down and some of its workers arrested on charges of extremism.  But it is continuing to produce videos, most of them with English subtitles, evidently from outside Russia.  The independent Meduza news service has relocated to Latvia and The Moscow Times to the Netherlands.

I worked on newspapers for 24 years, and I especially enjoy FBK videos as great examples of investigative reporting—the ingenuity with which the investigators track down the facts, their professionalism in document the facts, and the clarity and wit with which they present the facts.

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You can find more FBK videos through Google and clicking on the Alexei Navalny tag at the bottom of this post.

Navalny began as an extreme Russian nationalism who despised non-Russian immigrants, and he now gives the USA and its allies more of the benefit of the doubt than I do.  It is possible the U.S. “deep state” supports him for its own purposes.  None of these things matter to me.

What matters is the essential truth of what he says and his fearlessness in saying it.  He is one of the great martyred truth-tellers of our time, like Julian Assange.

Intensifying the covert and economic war against Russia won’t help Navalny.  What will help Navalny is for each of us to be a truth-teller about our own countries. 

On many of my posts concerning Russia and Ukraine, I mention that the fact that I disagree with American foreign policy does not mean that I deny that Vladimir Putin is a corrupt autocrat.  On this one, I suppose I should mention that the fact that I understand that Putin is corrupt autocrat does not mean that I agree with American foreign policy. 

LINKS

Navalny links $700 million super yacht to Putin as court extends sentence by nine years by Theo Normanton for bne IntelliNews

US, EU slam Russia’s new sentencing of opposition leader Navalny by Al Jazeera.

Alexey Navalny, jailed Kremlin critic, found guilty of fraud and sentenced to another nine years in prison by Stephanie Holasz and George Ramsay for CNN.

“We’ll all go back when the regime falls”: How Tbilisi, Georgia, became a hub for Russian political emigrants by Gleb Golob for Meduza.

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One Response to “Navalny in prison, but his work goes on”

  1. Fred (Au Natural) Says:

    I like those FBK videos!

    Like

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