Yulia's difficult challenges in Russia

Yulia's difficult challenges in Russia

11:24 20/02/2024

For years, Yulia Navalnaya was present almost all the time by her husband's side. In political protests, as well as in court hearings, often holding his hand.

In 2020, when Alexei Navalny was poisoned with a nerve agent, it was Yulia who fought for him to go abroad for life-saving treatment. Now he died alone and far away from her in an Arctic prison.

She accuses Russian President Vladimir Putin of this and is now calling on Russians to stand by her side to fight her.

In the statement that Yulia Navalnaya posted online on Monday, she announced the deliberate and dramatic decision to enter politics. Her love for her husband is so strong and the pain still so vivid that the recording in some parts is painful to watch.

It's very convincing though.

Navalny's widow describes herself as torn in two and heartbroken. But it is the grudge that is leading her to follow her husband's cause.. She says that she will realize the "beautiful Russia of the future", so that his "unthinkable" death will not be for nothing.

For some Russians who oppose Vladimir Putin and are very depressed at the moment, her speech will have been quite inspiring.

Until this moment, Yulia Navalnaya was reserved and distant. But the video shows a woman with great inner strength.

Her loss and love gave the authorities pure morals and she is engaging.

Strong women

There is a precedent of strong women rising up in the absence of men.

This happened in neighboring Belarus, where authoritarian Alexander Lukashenko underestimated Svetlana Tikhanovskaya so much that he allowed her to register for the 2020 presidential campaign when her husband Sergei Tikhanovsky was arrested.

Sexism almost cost Lukashenko's continued power. When he announced the narrow victory, Tikhanovskaya gathered huge crowds in the streets, who protested vote manipulation. She had to flee the country after being tipped off by foreign intelligence services and now acts as 'president-in-exile'.

Evgenia Kara-Murza also took a global role.

When her husband was poisoned in Moscow in 2015 and 2017, Evgenia fought to stay by his side in the hospital, watching over him all the time.

At the time, Vladimir Kara-Murza was campaigning for Western leaders to tighten sanctions on Putin's men.

Then in 2022, he was arrested after denouncing Russia's war crimes in Ukraine and convicted of treason.

Evgenia, a translator by profession, now spends most of her time following her husband's campaign for sanctions, as well as calling for his freedom in Western capitals.

Overwhelming opposition

Yulia Navalnaya may take on a similar role. It was addressed to EU foreign ministers, who expressed their outrage at Navalny's death in a statement. They said ultimate responsibility rested with Putin and promised "other costs", as yet unspecified.

But leading opposition forces inside Russia is difficult to achieve.

For starters, Yulia Navalnaya is abroad. Having just accused Putin of murdering her husband, a trip back to Russia as an activist would be too risky.

Inside Russia, Navalny's political organization is banned as "extremist", just like the Islamic State group and al-Qaeda.

Just before this organization was considered banned in 2021, Navalny's team called a protest which they described as the "last battle". The cause was strong. The police force was massive. But the number of protesters was less impressive. Since then, pressure has intensified across the opposition. Navalny's activists are either in prison, as he was, or have left to avoid arrest.

Throughout the two decades in power, Vladimir Putin has taken care to systematically suppress any kind of opposition.

There is not much opposition left for Yulia to address.

The bouquets of flowers at Navalny memorials across Russia show that many people want change. Whenever they are removed by persons wearing black hoods, people bring even more flowers. It is a quiet and peaceful act of resistance.

It is these Russians that Navalny's widow addresses in her video, where she calls on them to unite against the Russian regime. But their fear and sense of helplessness is very strong.

In the end, it was Alexei Navalny who fought the hardest throughout his life, and who paid a huge price for it.

with the BBC/tvklan.al

Source of information @TvKlan: Read more at:bopta todaywww.botasot.al

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