‘My message in case I am killed: Do not give up': Alexey Navalny predicted his own demise


Portrait of Russian opposition leader and activist Alexey Navalny by Mitya Aleshkovsky. CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED.

Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny. Photo by Mitya Aleshkovsky. CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED.

On February 16, 2024, Alexey Navalny, Putin's long term critic and a prominent opposition figure, died in prison under suspicious circumstances. Navalny once said in a documentary what he wanted the Russians to do in case of his death.

Alexei Navalny answers the question of what to do if he is killed.  Excerpt from the film “Navalny” by Daniel Rohr, 2022

My message in case I am killed do not give up. Don't, you can't give up. If this has happened, it means that we are very strong, and they are afraid of us. We need to use this strength, and do not give up. Remember that we are very powerful and strong force which is undermined by these bad people only because we can't realise how strong we are. Everything needed for evil to prevail is the non-action of kind people. So act. 

The independent human rights protection media project OVD-Info, as well as many other Russian opposition media and figures, claim he was murdered.

OVD-Info published a statement outlining their position on Navalny's death:

Alexei Navalny was killed in prison. The Federal Penitentiary Service has reported his death and plans to conduct investigations and determine the cause, something similar was mundanely stated by the Investigative Committee. This is unnecessary, the cause is already known.

The statement continues:

Navalny’s death was a murder — a planned murder, a murder methodically carried out, a murder of which the Russian state is guilty. Including those very agencies that are now talking about investigations.

The authorities planned and carried out the poisoning of Navalny in August 2020. This was proven by numerous investigations, including Navalny’s own. It cannot be proven in a Russian court, controlled by killers. But why bother? To all reasonable people, the well-known indisputable facts are enough.

But Navalny miraculously survived. After treatment in Germany, still in poor health, Navalny returned to Russia. He was immediately arrested and kept in deliberately torturous conditions for three years. He was held without proper medical supervision and treatment and virtually isolated from family and lawyers. Most recently he was transferred into one of Russia’s harshest prisons located beyond the Arctic Circle. During 37 months of detention, Navalny spent 296 days in a brutal punishment cell. In such conditions, there was no need to poison or kill through violent means — they simply had to wait.

And this was not just murder. It was a political assassination. Navalny’s arrest and conviction were not simply unjust, they obviously served the political goals of the Kremlin. We are confident that both the fact of the murder and the fact that this murder is political will be properly proven through the law: at the international level and in Russia, in that very bright free Russia of the future that Navalny believed in.

This is an assassination of hope. But now it is within our power to prevent one last crime against Navalny — the attempts to kill the hope he inspired. Just as we need to stop other murders being committed right now.

Alexei was a man of extraordinary courage, resilience, and optimism. For us, he will always be an example to follow, a symbol that inspires, and does not allow us to give up. A symbol that gives hope. We will cherish this gift.

Alexei, thank you for everything you have already done, and for everything that will be done because of you and for you!

Our deepest sympathies go out to Alexei Navalny’s family and all his colleagues.”

Read more: Shallow grave: Putin’s dictatorship is slowly killing Russia's main opposition leader Navalny


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