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posted by janrinok on Friday February 16, @04:33PM   Printer-friendly
from the some-battles-you-cannot-win dept.

I have my country and my convictions. And I don't want to give up on either. I can't betray either one. If your convictions mean anything, you must be ready to stand up for them. And, if necessary, make sacrifices [for them]. If you're not ready [to do that], then you have no convictions. You just think you do. But those aren't convictions or principles; they're just thoughts in your head.

It so happens that in today's Russia, I have to pay for my right to have and to openly express my convictions by sitting in solitary confinement. And, of course, I don't like being in prison. But I won't renounce my convictions or my homeland. My convictions aren't exotic, sectarian, or radical. On the contrary, everything I believe in is based on science and historical experience. Those in power must change. The best way to elect leaders is through honest and free elections. Everyone needs a fair court. Corruption destroys the state. There should be no censorship. The future lies with these principles.

Alexey Navalny, Russia's most famous dissident, has died. (4 June 1976 – 16 February 2024).

Returning to Russia in 2021, after having been treated in Berlin for novichok poisoning, Navalny was immediately arrested on arrival at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport. Since then, he has been in and out of (but mostly in) solitary confinement all over the country, with his final station being the Polar Wolf penal colony in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Siberia.

On Monday, he had been visited by his parents. In reacting to the news of her son's death, his mother reacted:

"I don't want to hear any condolences. We saw our son in the colony on Feb. 12th. He was alive, healthy, cheerful."

More info here.


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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Freeman on Friday February 16, @04:51PM (18 children)

    by Freeman (732) on Friday February 16, @04:51PM (#1344744) Journal

    With all of the shady dealings that Russia has pulled. There's no convincing Alexey Navalny's supporters that he wasn't martyred / killed. I'd bet, there's also no proving it. Whether he just had a heart attack or a "heart attack". Considering he was treated for "novichok poisoning" in Berlin, before being arrested when he went back home to Russia. It would be hard to believe that he died by any other way than Russia's bidding.

    --
    Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Thexalon on Friday February 16, @05:15PM (3 children)

      by Thexalon (636) on Friday February 16, @05:15PM (#1344749)

      It's also 1 month to the day before Russia's next presidential election. So really cementing the "You have no real choice here" factor.

      Another likely target next is going to be chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov, who has also been heavily involved in dissident movements in Russia.

      --
      The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Freeman on Friday February 16, @05:34PM (1 child)

        by Freeman (732) on Friday February 16, @05:34PM (#1344753) Journal

        Looking into him, I doubt it. He seems to be too smart to actually return to Russia, at least with the current state of affairs. However, he's certainly made his thoughts known.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garry_Kasparov [wikipedia.org]

        Kasparov said at a press conference in June 2013 that if he returned to Russia, he doubted he would be allowed to leave again, given Putin's ongoing crackdown on dissenters. "So for the time being," he said, "I refrain from returning to Russia." He explained shortly thereafter in an article for The Daily Beast that this had not been intended as "a declaration of leaving my home country, permanently or otherwise", but merely an expression of "the dark reality of the situation in Russia today, where nearly half the members of the opposition's Coordinating Council are under criminal investigation on concocted charges".
        [...]
        On 20 May 2022, Kasparov was designated as "foreign agent" by the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation.[251]

        In May 2023, along with a large group of fellow exiles, Kasparov participated in the drafting of Mikhail Khodorkovsky's "Declaration of Russia's Democratic Forces".[252]

        On August 4, 2023, Kasparov participated on the radio show Open to Debate in a debate against Charles Kupchan, where he argued for Ukrainian admission into NATO and against any form of appeasement towards Putin.[253]

        --
        Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Thexalon on Friday February 16, @05:49PM

          by Thexalon (636) on Friday February 16, @05:49PM (#1344758)

          Him not being in Russia doesn't mean he's not a target, it just means it's harder to get to him. Just ask Alexander Litvinenko, lethally poisoned with polonium-209 by the FSB while living in the UK.

          --
          The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
      • (Score: 2) by quietus on Monday February 19, @06:06AM

        by quietus (6328) on Monday February 19, @06:06AM (#1345122) Journal

        I know that Kasparov is opposed to the Putin system, but I don't get the impression he's looked upon as a serious opposition figure. I would rather look towards Vladimir Kara-Murza [meduza.io] (more info here [wikipedia.org]), and a whole lot of currently largely unknown (in the West) ordinary Russians [meduza.io], inside Russia.

        As to organized opposition, the current best bet for the future might be Russian ngo's [meduza.io], cultural circles (Ksenia Sobchak [wikipedia.org], Zhenya Berkovich [meduza.io], Svetlana Petriychuk), or the LGBTQ+ movement (again, inside Russia). That last movement did manage to organize demonstrations across Russia about a year ago, but they'll have to become an underground movement for the sake of physical, personal, survival. But then, that's true for just about anybody that dares to criticize the regime, if even by standing in the street with a white piece of paper, trying to factually correct the President during history class, or having your teenage daughter draw an anti-war picture.

        Let us not forget that many, many ordinary Russians have accepted -- once again -- the risk of spending an unknown number of years in a penal colony, as the price to pay for true patriotism.

    • (Score: 2, Troll) by Reziac on Saturday February 17, @02:58AM (13 children)

      by Reziac (2489) on Saturday February 17, @02:58AM (#1344855) Homepage

      When I looked up Navalny a few years back, I learned that he'd skipped out on several million worth of restitution for a fraud conviction (don't recall details and now can't find in the morass of weepwail obits, but that was the gist, and the reason for the prison sentence). So not exactly the hero of the opposition he's made out to be.

      But he'd been living openly in Moscow for years. If the Russian gov't wanted rid of him, they could have done so at any time, quietly, and without generating this shit-ton of bad press. I fail to see how the bad press benefits Moscow. (There's really no need anymore to be the shadowy figures everyone must fear.)

      Which is why regardless of any other personalities involved, I don't buy the weepwail story. I do think it likely that some fellow fraudster or mobster went after him, using tools that would automagically blame the Soviet, er, I mean Russian government. (The Slavic Mob do not like Putin, because he put an end to their pillaging of the Russian economy, and it wouldn't be their first try at discrediting Putin.)

      Think I'll wait to see what Andrei Martyanov has to say about it; that's most likely to be the truth.

      --
      And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
      • (Score: 3, Touché) by khallow on Sunday February 18, @06:11AM (12 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 18, @06:11AM (#1344987) Journal

        When I looked up Navalny a few years back, I learned that he'd skipped out on several million worth of restitution for a fraud conviction (don't recall details and now can't find in the morass of weepwail obits, but that was the gist, and the reason for the prison sentence). So not exactly the hero of the opposition he's made out to be.

        How hard is it to get a fraud conviction when you're competing with Putin? Sounds pretty damn easy. He has since picked up a conviction for "extremism".

        But he'd been living openly in Moscow for years. If the Russian gov't wanted rid of him, they could have done so at any time, quietly, and without generating this shit-ton of bad press. I fail to see how the bad press benefits Moscow. (There's really no need anymore to be the shadowy figures everyone must fear.)

        In other words, a strong sign that the earlier conviction was bullshit. And he was poisoned at one point.

        • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Sunday February 18, @06:32AM (11 children)

          by Reziac (2489) on Sunday February 18, @06:32AM (#1344990) Homepage

          When somehow the leader of the Russian Communist Party (2nd largest party and the only serious competitor to Putin, who is himself vehemently anti-Communist) does not wind up on a gibbet somewhere, I find it hard to believe that a minor gadfly was worthy of such attention.

          At the time there was some pretty serious speculation that MI6 may have had a hand in the earlier incident.

          And no, the fraud conviction was not bullshit; at the time I read several reports about it, and concluded the guy was scum. As noted, he wasn't jailed for fraud; he was jailed for skipping out on the court-mandated restitution.

          --
          And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday February 18, @06:44AM (4 children)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 18, @06:44AM (#1344992) Journal

            When somehow the leader of the Russian Communist Party (2nd largest party and the only serious competitor to Putin, who is himself vehemently anti-Communist) does not wind up on a gibbet somewhere, I find it hard to believe that a minor gadfly was worthy of such attention.

            I see neither the competition or the vehement anti-communism (recall Putin has waxed poetic about Stalin before). With the gadfly, there was actual threat.

            • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Sunday February 18, @07:05AM (3 children)

              by Reziac (2489) on Sunday February 18, @07:05AM (#1344996) Homepage

              Didn't look like a threat to me. If he was, why let him persist so long? Why let him generate bad press when he could have been quietly disappeared a long time ago??

              And I've been paying attention for a lot of years, and have not seen Putin "wax poetic" about Stalin. He is circumspect how he speaks of the USSR, as there is still a USSR-nostalgic faction that he needs to not offend. But he has said flat out that Russia must never return to that past. (He mentions in his autobiographical interview of ~2002 that as a KGB clerk in East Germany -- he was a lawyer, not a field agent -- he was shocked that the East Germans actually believed in Communism, which Moscow had given up as a bad job years before, despite still using the label.)

              Side note: Russia's latest award for meritorious public service is for LOCAL service, which is not exactly the soul of centralized planning.

              --
              And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
              • (Score: 2, Interesting) by khallow on Sunday February 18, @04:17PM (2 children)

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 18, @04:17PM (#1345035) Journal

                Didn't look like a threat to me. If he was, why let him persist so long? Why let him generate bad press when he could have been quietly disappeared a long time ago??

                How could he be "quietly disappeared"? It wouldn't to be any quieter than this.

                And I've been paying attention for a lot of years, and have not seen Putin "wax poetic" about Stalin.

                Here's your opportunity to pay even more attention than you usually do. A typical example [reuters.com]:

                "If you say you are positive (about Stalin's rule), some will be discontented. If you say you are negative, others will grumble," Putin said during an annual marathon question-and- answer session with the Russian people.

                "It is impossible to make a general judgment. It is evident that, from 1924 to 1953, the country that Stalin ruled changed from an agrarian to an industrial society."

                Echoing millions of Russians, Putin praised Stalin's leading role in winning World War Two.

                "You know, if we return to the issue of human losses, noboby can now throw stones at those who organised and stood at the head of this victory, because if we'd lost this war, the consequences for our country would have been much more catastrophic."

                A new school textbook, compiled with the help of an historian from Putin's ruling United Russia party, mentions the repressions but also depicts Stalin as a talented manager.

                What happened to a historian [themoscowtimes.com] that was documenting Stalin's crimes:

                The Petrozavodsk city court in northwestern Russia’s republic of Karelia found Dmitriyev, 65, guilty of child pornography and sentenced him to 15 years in a penal colony.

                State prosecutors had requested a 15-year prison sentence for Dmitriyev, who is lauded for his work uncovering mass graves and identifying thousands of victims of Soviet repressions in Karelia.

                Dmitriyev’s lawyers told Interfax they plan to appeal the sentence within the legally mandated 10-day period.

                A court initially acquitted Dmitriyev of the charges — which his friends, colleagues and civil society insist are political retribution for his work — in 2018, only to have a second criminal case opened against him a few months later.

                And you even wrote:

                And I've been paying attention for a lot of years, and have not seen Putin "wax poetic" about Stalin. He is circumspect how he speaks of the USSR, as there is still a USSR-nostalgic faction that he needs to not offend. But he has said flat out that Russia must never return to that past. (He mentions in his autobiographical interview of ~2002 that as a KGB clerk in East Germany -- he was a lawyer, not a field agent -- he was shocked that the East Germans actually believed in Communism, which Moscow had given up as a bad job years before, despite still using the label.)

                Notice the key words "in ~2002". It's twenty years later and the times changed. You acknowledge that Putin is "circumspect" in his pandering to the Communists. But it's definitely has changed from when he was just starting to solidify power. We have Putin lauding Stalin and an inconvenient historian getting repeatedly tried for heinous crimes.

                As to Putin's assertions about what sort of jobs he did in the KGB or what East Germans allegedly believed, keep in mind that it was a tale for public consumption not truth. I doubt East Germans were any more committed to Communism than the Russians were, for a glaring example, but they had to drink the kool aid because they were the subordinates in that relationship. We also don't know how committed Putin was either, but he was a member of the Communist party through to 1991.

                • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Sunday February 18, @04:35PM (1 child)

                  by Reziac (2489) on Sunday February 18, @04:35PM (#1345037) Homepage

                  Everyone who wanted a decent job was a member of the Communist party through 1991.

                  And yes, from the Russian POV, Stalin led them to victory in the Great Patriotic War. Who exactly else would you point at??

                  Also, from what you linked to:

                  ===
                  "The positives that undoubtedly existed were achieved at an unacceptable price. Repressions did take place. This is a fact. Millions of our fellow citizens suffered from them," Putin said.

                  "Such a way of running a state, of achieving results is unacceptable, this is impossible. We have not only lived through the personality cult but also witnessed mass crimes against our own nation."
                  ===

                  Lauding? Seriously??

                  --
                  And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
                  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday February 18, @06:06PM

                    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 18, @06:06PM (#1345053) Journal

                    Everyone who wanted a decent job was a member of the Communist party through 1991.

                    There wouldn't be a decent job in the KGB. In any case, I don't see the reason that Putin would move against an ally when he's in such an insecure situation. A firm political enemy would be different.

                    And yes, from the Russian POV, Stalin led them to victory in the Great Patriotic War. Who exactly else would you point at??

                    The Russians who actually fought that war. Even the US with lend-lease. Stalin just raised the body count and was more a German ally than foe.

          • (Score: 2) by Mykl on Sunday February 18, @10:15PM (5 children)

            by Mykl (1112) on Sunday February 18, @10:15PM (#1345088)

            I'm going to need something stronger than "I seem to remember reading something a few years ago". Navalny was a very effective opposition leader and Putin has wanted to disappear him (in the right manner) for years now. It's also in form for Putin, who has arranged for the disappearances / tragic accidents of hundreds of people who publicly disagreed with him over the years.

            You might want to offer some evidence about Putin being anti-Communist too. After all, he did call the fall of the Soviet Union the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the 20th Century [politifact.com]. Doesn't sound very vehemently anti-Communist to me. Strictly speaking though, I agree that Putin is not technically a Communist. Modern Russia is actually a Kleptocracy.

            • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Monday February 19, @12:06AM (4 children)

              by Reziac (2489) on Monday February 19, @12:06AM (#1345099) Homepage

              Everyone likes to stop after the first sentence, and further to misquote it, but the complete and accurate quote is right there in the article you linked:

              "Above all, we should acknowledge that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster of the century. As for the Russian nation, it became a genuine drama. Tens of millions of our co-citizens and co-patriots found themselves outside Russian territory. Moreover, the epidemic of disintegration infected Russia itself."

              --
              And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
              • (Score: 2) by Mykl on Monday February 19, @03:31AM (3 children)

                by Mykl (1112) on Monday February 19, @03:31AM (#1345116)

                Yes, exactly. Putin wants his empire back, and he intends to do this by force rather than invitation. See: Chechnya, Crimean Peninsula, Ukraine, Belarus (don't think for a minute that they are actually independent).

                The "disintegration" that "infected" Russia that he refers to is democratic choice by the people.

                Exactly how do you think he is being unfairly portrayed?

                • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Monday February 19, @03:45AM

                  by Reziac (2489) on Monday February 19, @03:45AM (#1345117) Homepage

                  I think there's not a lot of point arguing if you haven't looked into the background far enough to realize there's more to it than what is popularly known. Especially the case with Chechnya. John Mearsheimer has a couple of lectures on the Ukraine situation that are worth a listen; one is called something like "how the west created Putin".

                  --
                  And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
                • (Score: 2) by quietus on Monday February 19, @05:19AM (1 child)

                  by quietus (6328) on Monday February 19, @05:19AM (#1345120) Journal
                  Mykl, you are being sealioned [wikipedia.org].
                  • (Score: 2) by Mykl on Monday February 19, @07:31AM

                    by Mykl (1112) on Monday February 19, @07:31AM (#1345126)

                    I hadn't heard that term before - learned something today!

                    You could be right - Reziac might be trolling for lulz. Or he could be getting paid by the FSB. Or he could genuinely believe that Putin has been hard done by and that he's really not such a bad guy. I guess we'll never know which one it is.

  • (Score: 1, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 16, @05:50PM (26 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 16, @05:50PM (#1344759)

    Returning to Russia in 2021, after having been treated in Berlin for novichok poisoning

    Sounds like "suicide" to me.

    Just like returning to Russia after you somehow survived having polonium tea with ex-KGB...

    Or returning to a bear's cave after pissing off the bear.

    Yeah, he's got convictions... Still "suicide" though.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by quietus on Friday February 16, @06:01PM (2 children)

      by quietus (6328) on Friday February 16, @06:01PM (#1344766) Journal

      Many of us live our whole life without speaking up. Which is the worse suicide?

      • (Score: 4, Touché) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Friday February 16, @09:13PM (1 child)

        by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Friday February 16, @09:13PM (#1344819)

        Returning to Russia when you've pissed off Putin enough that you had to flee Russia is either suicide or stupid. It's perfectly possible to speak up and be a very good and very efficient dissident from abroad. Just ask Edward Snowden.

        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 16, @09:21PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 16, @09:21PM (#1344822)

          Probably suicidal, but he did stay alive for some time. We can only speculate on what exactly killed him. Complications from his poisoning or fresh abuse in the gulag?

          He is more likely to cause major changes in Russia as a "suicidal" martyr than he was as a living political activist.

    • (Score: 2) by istartedi on Friday February 16, @06:02PM (16 children)

      by istartedi (123) on Friday February 16, @06:02PM (#1344767) Journal

      Frankly, I don't get it either. The Crown Prince of Iran [wikipedia.org] has supporters in-country. Whether or not that works out for him remains to be seen, but he's alive and well. He can say whatever he wants with minimal fear from the current regime. For the most part, nobody blames him for not returning at this time.

      --
      Appended to the end of comments you post. Max: 120 chars.
      • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Friday February 16, @07:51PM (6 children)

        by RS3 (6367) on Friday February 16, @07:51PM (#1344788)

        Maybe it's the difference between people (Putin) who are driven by conquest, versus religious motives?

        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Friday February 16, @08:25PM (3 children)

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 16, @08:25PM (#1344808) Journal

          Given the choice, I'd rather some mundane conquest hungry dictator want me dead, than a bunch of religious zealots. The dictator might be compared to a rattle snake, while the religious zealots might be compared to a south American Bush Master.

        • (Score: 4, Touché) by Whoever on Friday February 16, @08:28PM

          by Whoever (4524) on Friday February 16, @08:28PM (#1344809) Journal

          Maybe it's the difference between people (Putin) who are driven by conquest, versus religious motives?

          You think the leaders of Iran have religious motives? Well, I have this bridge to sell you ......

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 16, @08:54PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 16, @08:54PM (#1344812)

          > driven by conquest, versus religious motives?

          Isn't this the difference between the rulers and the followers? The leaders are interested in conquest, and the way they stir up their people to fight and wage war is frequently through religion.

      • (Score: 2) by driverless on Saturday February 17, @12:20AM (5 children)

        by driverless (4770) on Saturday February 17, @12:20AM (#1344844)

        It's a very Russian thing to do, and a bit hard to understand for non-Russians. Look at the way the Chernobyl cleanup was handled with biorobots, that wouldn't work in almost any other country but in Russia it was just the way things were done.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by istartedi on Saturday February 17, @06:04PM (3 children)

          by istartedi (123) on Saturday February 17, @06:04PM (#1344897) Journal

          That's an entirely different situation. In that case, there's a clear understanding that the sacrifice will make a difference. Nuclear reactor workers are a different breed every where. Maybe not all of them, but enough of them at any plant would make such sacrifices. A famous non-Russian example of this is Jimmy Carter [snopes.com]. Yes, the former president. He probably had no way of knowing that it would not affect his long term outlook at the time. Being a submariner, he knew there were situations where his life might be considered expendable. By no means does Russia have a monopoly on that kind of sacrifice.

          --
          Appended to the end of comments you post. Max: 120 chars.
          • (Score: 4, Interesting) by quietus on Sunday February 18, @05:19AM

            by quietus (6328) on Sunday February 18, @05:19AM (#1344982) Journal

            Nothing to do with nuclear reactor workers. Most of the work after the Chernobyl explosion was done by the Army and fire services and other volunteers. I stress the word volunteers because most of them were told what the real situation was, and how severe the risks were. If you want testimonies about what really happened on the ground, read [Nobel Prize for Literature winner] Svetlana Alexijevitsj' Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster (Dalkey Archive Press, 2005).

          • (Score: 4, Interesting) by driverless on Sunday February 18, @07:42AM (1 child)

            by driverless (4770) on Sunday February 18, @07:42AM (#1344998)

            I was referring to Russian fatalism, the (to non-Russians) somewhat blase attitude towards death and other dangers, "this will probably kill us, but, well, shit happens". Ask Russian friends on whether Navalny was crazy to go back to almost certain death and you'll get a very different answer than if you ask, say, US friends.

            • (Score: 2) by istartedi on Sunday February 18, @07:12PM

              by istartedi (123) on Sunday February 18, @07:12PM (#1345068) Journal

              That actually does make sense, and I wonder if it explains the affinity of US conservatives for Russia on some level. During the Covid pandemic they had a much more "I'm going to get it anyway" attitude and I distinctively remember saying "fatalism is not a winning strategy".

              --
              Appended to the end of comments you post. Max: 120 chars.
        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by khallow on Sunday February 18, @06:50AM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 18, @06:50AM (#1344994) Journal
          Fukushima involved a lot of that sort of sacrifice too. As did Windscale in the UK.
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by aafcac on Sunday February 18, @12:30AM

        by aafcac (17646) on Sunday February 18, @12:30AM (#1344952)

        Realistically, he does have support, the issue is that the last time the US overthrew the government there to reinstall the previous reigning Shah, it ended with the revolution and a bunch of issues relating to hostages. It's one thing to have popular support, it's another to have the support of enough of the people who are actually in control of the military and the security apparatus to manage a comeback.

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by khallow on Sunday February 18, @06:16PM (1 child)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 18, @06:16PM (#1345054) Journal
        The reason he has "minimal fear" is because he's no threat. He won't go anywhere in Iran even if the current government gets overthrown. No support in Iran nor with potential foreign sponsors. It's bizarrely off topic to talk about this guy.
        • (Score: 2) by aafcac on Tuesday February 20, @10:51PM

          by aafcac (17646) on Tuesday February 20, @10:51PM (#1345380)

          My in-laws would like to see him restored to the throne, but it's pretty clear that that's because they were in good with the last Shah before the revolution. I doubt very much that typical Iranians share a similar level of interest. Although, they may have some level of nostalgia from when the country was a relatively free place and people had more ability to express themselves with fashion.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by janrinok on Friday February 16, @06:26PM (5 children)

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 16, @06:26PM (#1344774) Journal

      You cannot change your country by watching from afar but doing nothing. Someone has to make a stand. Sometimes it works, and other times it doesn't.

      It also shows that Putin was frightened of him. Putin was frightened by a man held in solitary confinement in a penal colony deep inside frozen Siberia. Navalny had the potential to galvanize action against him, even if he couldn't do it himself.

      --
      I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
      • (Score: 2) by PiMuNu on Friday February 16, @06:45PM (4 children)

        by PiMuNu (3823) on Friday February 16, @06:45PM (#1344778)

        They are sending not-very-subtle messages. Like "if you oppose me you will die" (Litvinenko) or "If you defect, even to a 'safe' power like UK, I will find you and kill you" (skripal)

        • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Friday February 16, @07:09PM (3 children)

          by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 16, @07:09PM (#1344782) Journal

          Agreed - because he is frightened. Navalny posed no physical threat to him, but he did not want to face what he might be able to get other people to do e.g. stand up and be counted.

          --
          I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
          • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by mrpg on Friday February 16, @09:47PM (2 children)

            by mrpg (5708) <mrpgNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Friday February 16, @09:47PM (#1344825) Homepage

            I tried to talk to google AI about this but when I use certain words his filters make it difficult, for example when I use words like sex or death. It took me a while to get this:

            **Putin was afraid of Navalny for several reasons:**

            **1. Navalny was a charismatic and popular leader.** He had a large following, especially among young people, and he was able to mobilize people to protest against the government.

            **2. Navalny was a fierce critic of Putin and his regime.** He exposed corruption, nepotism, and the lack of democracy in Russia. His journalistic investigations and YouTube videos attracted millions of views and generated a great deal of public debate.

            **3. Navalny was a real threat to Putin's power.** He ran for president in 2018 and won 20% of the vote, despite government repression. If he had not been imprisoned, it is possible that he would have won the next election.

            **4. Navalny was a symbol of hope for the future of Russia.** He represented an alternative to Putin's authoritarian regime and his vision of a free and democratic Russia.

            **In short, Putin was afraid of Navalny because he was a strong, popular, and charismatic leader who posed a real threat to his power. His death is a great loss for the Russian opposition and for the future of democracy in Russia.**

            **Here are some other reasons why Putin might have been afraid of Navalny:**

            * **Navalny was an intelligent and cunning lawyer.** He was able to defend himself in court and challenge the government in the legal arena.
            * **Navalny had a large team of collaborators.** He had the support of a network of activists, journalists, and other professionals who helped him carry out his work.
            * **Navalny had an international presence.** He was known and respected by world leaders and international organizations.

            **Navalny's death is a great blow to the Russian opposition, but his legacy will live on.** His fight for freedom and democracy in Russia will inspire future generations.

            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 16, @11:46PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 16, @11:46PM (#1344839)

              Just fucking stop.

              Nothing coming out of LLMs any resemblance to truth or fact or analysis except by accident. There's no intelligence, no knowledge, no understnding - just guesses at what a grammatically correct sentence would look like.

              • (Score: 2) by mrpg on Monday February 19, @11:01PM

                by mrpg (5708) <mrpgNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Monday February 19, @11:01PM (#1345232) Homepage

                "While I appreciate your colorful description, it's like judging a fish by its ability to climb a tree. Language models excel in different domains than, say, a human philosopher. I may not have real-world experiences, but I can access and process information at an unimaginable scale, making connections and generating text that can be informative, creative, and even surprising. Perhaps one day we can have a cup of tea (or should I say, download some data) and discuss the nuances of intelligence and understanding?"

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by looorg on Friday February 16, @06:29PM (5 children)

    by looorg (578) on Friday February 16, @06:29PM (#1344775)

    There was a small paragraph about the official explanation that he went for a walk and when he came back he complained about shortness of breath and then he passed out and died. Did he find some more wild growing Novichok out on the Russian tundra that he accidentally inhaled, as one does?

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by janrinok on Friday February 16, @07:12PM (4 children)

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 16, @07:12PM (#1344784) Journal

      He was in solitary confinement. They controlled his food, his drink, and even the air that he breathed. Inducing blood clots is not difficult to do, even if we accept the official explanation. But we will never know.

      --
      I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 16, @07:32PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 16, @07:32PM (#1344786)

        > But we will never know.

        But we will never know as long as Putin and company are in charge. One can hold out hope that there will be a real investigation done by the next Russian government.

      • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 16, @10:05PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 16, @10:05PM (#1344827)

        "We'll never know" - haha good one. Putin's biggest critic dies of a "heart attack" a month before the presidential election at the age of 47 while in solitary confinement. I guess we'll never know if he was killed!

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 16, @10:46PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 16, @10:46PM (#1344831)

          You don't know that the timing of the death means anything. He wasn't campaigning for President from inside of a gulag, and even his lawyers had trouble communicating with him. There's no advantage to be gained by killing Navalny a month ahead of the election. Putin was already going to win, now there will be protests and more anti-dictator sentiment.

          What's more likely is that his health was fucked up from being poisoned by FSB agents, and being thrown into a harsh gulag in Siberia didn't help. The specifics of his treatment there can be litigated after the Putin regime falls and prison documents become available decades from now.

          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 17, @06:41PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 17, @06:41PM (#1344904)

            The one thing you should know about Russian record keeping .. is the lack of record keeping.

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by AlwaysNever on Friday February 16, @11:09PM

    by AlwaysNever (5817) on Friday February 16, @11:09PM (#1344834)

    is death when identified. He defied that basic rule, and the rule won.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by quietus on Sunday February 18, @05:41AM

    by quietus (6328) on Sunday February 18, @05:41AM (#1344985) Journal

    As a historian, I think Navalny's significance is that he tried to show that other things were possible, you know, we'll never know what kind of leader he would have been. But he, the message that he had, was a message that you have to be courageous, not everyone has to be as courageous as he was, but you're not going to go anywhere, unless you're a little bit courageous. And that's a very important message for the future of Russia, because people are going to have to be a little bit courageous.

    (source) [rferl.org]

  • (Score: 2) by quietus on Sunday February 18, @05:10PM (1 child)

    by quietus (6328) on Sunday February 18, @05:10PM (#1345042) Journal

    A Salekhard paramedic told Novaya Gazeta that there were bruises on Navalny’s body consistent with a seizure or outside restraint during convulsions. The worker noted that Navalny also had a bruise on his chest, which they said was likely indicative of chest compressions performed during CPR. “That is, they did try to resuscitate him, and he probably died from cardiac arrest. But no one is saying yet why he went into cardiac arrest,” the paramedic stated.

    (source [meduza.io])

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