Alexey Navalny on the Anniversary of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

The words of Russia’s best hope tweeted from prison

Paul Greenberg

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Photo by Emiliano Bar on Unsplash

While I’ve written a number of essays on Russia and the invasion of Ukraine for Medium, it’s important for any foreign student of the former Soviet Union to cede the field to voices from those countries whenever possible. This eloquent missive is an assembly of Alexey Navalny’s consecutive tweets made from the IK-6 penal colony at Melekhovo, about 115 miles east of Moscow on February 20th, 2023.

“On the eve of the anniversary of the full-scale and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops, I have summarized the political platform of mine and, hopefully, of many other decent people. 15 theses of a Russian citizen who desires the best for their country.

“1. President Putin has unleashed an unjust war of aggression against Ukraine under ridiculous pretexts.

“2. The real reasons for this war are the political and economic problems within Russia, Putin’s desire to hold on to power at any cost, and his obsession with his own historical legacy. He wants to go down in history as “the conqueror tsar” and “the collector of lands.”

“3. Tens of thousands of innocent Ukrainians have been murdered, and pain and suffering has befallen millions more. War crimes have been committed. Ukrainian cities and infrastructure have been destroyed.

Are all Russians inherently imperialistic? This is nonsense. No, they merely also have a dictator in power.

“4. Russia is suffering a military defeat. It was the realization of this fact that changed the rhetoric of the authorities from claims that “Kyiv will fall in three days” to hysterical threats of using nuclear weapons should Russia lose. The lives of tens of thousands of Russian soldiers were needlessly ruined. The ultimate military defeat may be delayed at the cost of the lives of hundreds of thousands more mobilized soldiers, but it is generally inevitable. The combination of aggressive warfare, corruption, inept generals, weak economy, and heroism and high motivation of the defending forces can only result in defeat. The Kremlin’s deceitful and hypocritical calls for…

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Paul Greenberg

New York Times bestselling author of Four Fish as well as The Climate Diet and Goodbye Phone, Hello World paulgreenberg.org