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April 12, 2024
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What Navalny Can Teach Americans About Bravery

Opinion|What Feckless Americans Can Learn From Navalny’s Bravery

https://www.nytimes.com/2024/02/16/opinion/aleksei-navalny-putin-russia.html

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Nicholas Kristof

Credit…Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters

Vladimir Putin’s Russia has just become even more bleak and soulless with the reported death in an Arctic prison of Aleksei Navalny, the 47-year-old dissident who showed immense bravery and humor as he tried to bring democracy to his homeland.

Navalny’s strength, resilience and courage contrast with the fecklessness of so many Americans dealing with Putin. From Donald Trump to Tucker Carlson, a remarkable number of American leaders and their mouthpieces roll over before the Russian president.

“Why do Trump and his congressional enablers want to further appease this Russian tyrant?” Senator Dick Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, asked after the news broke of Navalny’s death.

I hope Navalny’s example will fortify Americans and Europeans alike, for despite all our resources we have not shown a sliver of the strength that he did.

The most fundamental test of our fortitude is simple: Will the United States continue to support Ukraine as it tries to fight off Russian invaders? I hope Navalny’s sacrifice helps us find the will to stand up to Putin.

Navalny was Russia’s foremost dissident and opposition leader but also emerged as something of a Mandela of our age. Despite being poisoned and repeatedly punished with long bouts of isolation in remote prisons, Navalny stood unbroken. He continued to mock Putin and denounce the invasion of Ukraine.


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