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“Russian State Media Drops Taboo on Alexey Navalny Following His Death”


Russian State Media Drops Taboo on Alexey Navalny Following His Death

The name of Alexey Navalny was once a taboo topic across Russian state media. However, following his death, the media has taken a different approach. Russian President Vladimir Putin set the tone by referring to Navalny as “that man,” “that citizen,” or “the Berlin patient” – a mocking reference to his recovery from being poisoned with Novichok. Now, prominent propagandists have started to drop his name with ease, and even his widow, Yulia Navalnaya, has become a target.

Yulia Navalnaya announced on February 19 that she would continue her late husband’s work, which immediately put her in the crosshairs of state TV hosts. The language used and hints of a dark future for Navalnaya left viewers with an ominous impression of Kremlin rage towards her audacity to step into her husband’s shoes.

During his show, Full Contact, host Vladimir Solovyov targeted Navalnaya in one of his infamous rants. He implied that Navalny’s death was linked to Western security services and his attorneys, suggesting it was timed to coincide with the Munich Security Conference. Solovyov even questioned whether Navalny should be given a burial place and baselessly accused him of being a “terrorist.” He warned those who seek to honor Navalny’s memory that they are “enemies of my country.”

Solovyov then turned his attention to Navalnaya, warning that she would face the same extreme persecution as her late husband. He exclaimed, “The same fate awaits Navalnaya! If she comes to Russia, she will go to prison.” Although he did not explicitly state that Navalnaya is now an enemy of the state, the implication was clear. Solovyov’s diatribe sought to shift responsibility for Navalny’s death elsewhere while defending state murder.

Solovyov recalled the Russian tradition of not speaking ill of the dead but immediately maligned Navalny, calling him “a Nazi” and the creator of a “totalitarian cult.” He also claimed that Navalny’s followers would send Navalnaya back to Russia to be imprisoned. Solovyov concluded that no amount of pressure would change anything, as demonstrated by Navalny’s own experience.

Other propagandists joined in the denunciation of Navalny. Host Roman Golovanov speculated that Navalny most likely died of natural causes and blamed the British for any suspicious deaths that benefit the Kremlin. Head of RT Margarita Simonyan falsely accused Navalnaya of not truly loving her husband and praised Putin for his hard work.

The Russian state media’s change in approach towards Navalny and his widow reflects a shift in their narrative. Previously, Navalny was a taboo topic, but now he is openly discussed, albeit in a negative light. The media’s attacks on Navalnaya suggest that she will face the same persecution as her late husband if she returns to Russia. The propaganda machine is working to discredit Navalny and his supporters while praising Putin and deflecting blame onto Western powers. The true motives behind these attacks are unclear, but they serve to maintain the Kremlin’s grip on power and suppress dissent.

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