Yulia Navalny in the European Parliament: Tens of millions of Russians against Putin

Yulia Navalny, the widow of the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, addressed the members of the European Parliament today. Her address comes ahead of a plenary session in Strasbourg on the death of her husband

by Sededin Dedovic
Yulia Navalny in the European Parliament: Tens of millions of Russians against Putin
© BBC News / Youtube channel

Yulia Navalny, the widow of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, gave an inspiring and emotional address to the members of the European Parliament today, emphasizing the need to support political prisoners in Russia and perseverance in realizing the vision her husband advocated.

On the eve of the plenary session in Strasbourg dedicated to the death of her husband, Navalny emphasized her determination to continue the fight for the ideals that Alexei Navalny stood for. "I will do my best to make his dream come true," she said, conveying the message of his tireless commitment to change in Russia.

Yulia clearly emphasized that her husband will not be able to see the realization of his vision for a beautiful and modern Russia of the future, but she emphasized that it is something that others must see, and that everyone who shares the same ideals will work on.

Her heart broke in moments of emotion during the speech, which were followed by frequent applause. "My husband will never see what the beautiful Russia of the future will look like, but we have to see it." I will do my best to make his dream come true.

Evil will fall, and a good future will come," she said before the members of the European Parliament. "There are tens of millions of Russians who are against the war, against Putin, against the evil he brings, we must not persecute them.

On the contrary, you have to work with them. With us," says Navalny. Navalny's widow made clear her view of the political situation in Russia, calling Vladimir Putin the leader of an "organized criminal gang" who manipulates "puppets" to preserve his power.

She points out that Putin is a very powerful man with incredible opportunities and influence in Russia. She even claims that Vladimir Putin is perhaps the most nautical Russian statesman ever, which sounds a bit pretentious considering Russia's rich history.

Despite the sanctions, Navalny claims that Putin will not be defeated, but that it is necessary to innovate the approach. A new strategy is needed, something completely unexpected, which the Kremlin does not hope for. "You have to innovate.

You are not dealing with a politician, but with a monster," she warned, calling for more effective strategies in dealing with the regime.

People hold candles during a vigil for Alexiei Navalny in front of the Russian Consulate General on February 16, 2024 in Munich© Johannes Simon / Getty Images

In her speech, Navalny emphasized that the West often does not understand or does not want to see that almost half of Russians are against the war and Putin's government, calling for cooperation with them in order to achieve changes.

She says that they simply cannot come to an investigation because of the constant repression and surveillance of the regime. At the same time, Navalny emphasized the necessity for Putin to bear responsibility for the conflicts in Ukraine and for the death of her husband, stressing that she is convinced that Putin is directly responsible for the tragedy that befell her husband.

"Putin killed my husband," said Navalny, expressing her fears about the imminent funeral. Navalnya mournfully described her fears about her husband's upcoming funeral, expressing concern over whether the ceremony would be peaceful and dignified or littered with unjust arrests.

She also highlighted the torture that Aleksey suffered during his three-year imprisonment, stating that he was starved, isolated from the outside world, and denied basic human rights such as the right to visits, phone calls and letters.

Even with a written, certified request from the family, no one was allowed to visit him. Navalny was convicted in 2014 of embezzlement, for which he received a suspended sentence of 3.5 years. While he was in Germany recovering from Novichok poisoning in 2020, Russian authorities accused him of violating his probation by failing to report regularly to authorities.

In February 2021, a Moscow court converted his suspended sentence into an actual prison sentence of 2 years and 8 months. In June 2021, Navalny was sentenced to an additional 9 years in prison on charges of extremism and fraud.

Those accusations related to his anti-corruption activity and alleged financial malfeasance in his non-governmental organization. Navalny and his followers have dismissed the accusations as politically motivated. Navalny was imprisoned in penal colony no.

2 in Pokrov, about 100 kilometers from Moscow. That colony is known for its harsh conditions and strict discipline. During his stay in prison, Navalny went on hunger strike several times, demanding better medical care and respect for his rights.

He died in prison on February 16, 2024. According to Russian authorities, he died of a heart attack. His family and followers have expressed doubts about the allegations and demanded an independent investigation into his death.

Yulia Navalny also highlighted Alexei's creativity and innovation, describing him as an inventor who always had new ideas and visions for a better future, and as someone who was extremely dedicated to his principles and the fight for democracy and justice in Russia.

Navalny has been one of the most prominent critics of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his regime. His imprisonment and death were interpreted by many as an attempt by the Kremlin to silence the opposition.

European Russian Alexei Navalny