Yulia Navalnaya: ‘If you want to defeat Putin, fight his criminal gang’

Addressing the European Parliament on February 28, Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of murdered Russian anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny, accused Russian authorities, led by President Vladimir Putin, of having orchestrated Navalny’s killing.

Before his death in prison was announced on February 16 2024, Navalny was one of Russia’s most famous opposition voices, known for his work in exposing corruption, as well as an ardent critic of Putin. The exact circumstances of his death remain uncertain.

Navalnaya said that the public murder had once again shown everyone that “Putin is capable of anything and that you cannot negotiate with him”.

She expressed concern that none of the EU’s current restrictive measures had really stopped Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.

Navalnaya called for more innovative ideas to defeat Putin’s regime, both domestically and its actions towards its neighbours.

“If you really want to defeat Putin, you have to become an innovator…You can’t hurt Putin with another resolution or another set of sanctions that is no different from the previous ones,” Navalnaya said.

“You aren’t dealing with a politician but with a bloody mobster,” she said.

“The most important thing is the people close to Putin, his friends, associates, and keepers of the mafia’s money.

“You, and all of us, must fight this criminal gang.”

She said that, in this case, being politically innovative means fighting organised crime, not political competition.

“No diplomatic notes, but investigations into the financial machinations. Not statements of concern, but a search for mafia associates in your countries, for the discreet lawyers and financiers who are helping Putin and his friends to hide money”.

She said that “in this fight you have reliable allies – there are tens of millions of Russians who are against Putin, against the war, against the evil he brings.

“Putin must answer for what he has done to my country. Putin must answer for what he has done to a neighbouring peaceful country. And Putin must answer for everything he has done to Alexei,” Navalnaya said.

(Photo: © European Union, 2024 – EP)

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