Russia’s Oscar-winning opposition is in conflict | The Express Tribune

Imprisoned Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny on Wednesday dedicated his role in an Oscar-winning film to those who fought against dictatorship and war.

Film directed by Daniel Rohr NavalnyAbout the poison that almost killed Russia’s most prominent. The opposition His capture and arrest on Return to Moscow in 2021 won an Oscar. Best Feature Documentary on Sunday.

In a series of tweets issued by his supporters, Navalny said the early morning radio news bulletin in the penal colony where he is serving an 11-1/2-year sentence had omitted the documentary category from its report on the Oscar ceremony. have done.

“A good sign,” Navalny said he thought to himself.

But he only got confirmation that the film had won when he attended the court hearing via video link and was told the news by his lawyer.

“Of course I’m very happy and, as I’m happy, I try not to forget that I didn’t get the Oscar,” he said, praising Rohr, his close colleague Maria Povchikh and Bulgarian investigative journalist Christo Gruzeev. said – “The real star of this movie”.

He thanked his wife, Yulia, for supporting him “and stopping me from killing the film crew a couple of times.”

Navalny concluded by saying: “I dedicate all my contributions to honest and brave people, wherever they live, who day after day resist the monster of dictatorship and its constant companion – war.” Find strength.”

In the film, Navalny and Grozveev blame the poisoning on a team of agents from the FSB state security service.

Russia has denied trying to kill him. On Monday, the Kremlin said the award “showed a special element Politics“In Hollywood.

After returning from Germany, where he recovered from the poisoning, Navalny was immediately detained. He is now serving an 11-1/2-year prison sentence in Russia after being convicted of fraud on two counts that the West says was trumped up to silence him, and his anti-corruption organization. Has been declared extremist.

His supporters cast him as the Russian version of Nelson Mandela who survived an assassination attempt and would one day be freed from unjust imprisonment to lead Russia. The lawyer-turned-activist remains a staunch critic of the Kremlin, issuing regular statements from behind bars through his lawyers.

But his Anti-Corruption Foundation (ACF), which now operates out of Russia, is reeling after its chief of staff, Leonid Volkov, admitted that he had – without the knowledge of his colleagues – bribed some of Russia’s richest men. Tarin lobbied the European Union to lift sanctions on Mikhail Friedman. Men

Volkov apologized for what he said was “a big political mistake” and said He was taking a break from his role as ACF chairman.

Yet some fellow opposition members were furious, saying the ACF should try to hasten Putin’s political death rather than helping wealthy businessmen.

Navalny ally and former Deputy Energy Minister Vladimir Melov said some in the opposition had shown themselves to be “too naive” to lift sanctions on Friedman, whom he described as Russia’s “champion corporate raider”.

“This seriously damages the image of the Russian opposition,” Melov said. “It will then be necessary to restore the credibility of the Russian opposition in the West.”

Tit for Tat

The lobbying efforts were made public in apparent retaliation by Alexei Vendektov, a prominent journalist who for years gave the opposition a platform on a Moscow radio station he ran while maintaining ties to the authorities.

Navalny’s The team accused Venditov of taking millions of dollars from the Moscow city budget, which is controlled by a Putin ally, to publish the magazine. Vendektoff admitted winning the publishing contract, but denied wrongdoing or profiteering. Both he and Volkov were designated “foreign agents” by Moscow in April 2022.

Leonid Newslin, a tycoon and prominent critic of the Kremlin based in Israel, said on Twitter that the opposition needed to unite.

“While Ukraine is fighting for its independence, the Russian opposition has decided to open a second front…unfortunately, not to fight Putin, but to fight among themselves,” he lamented. “, he lamented.

Ksenia Thorstrom, an opposition politician from St. Petersburg who has now left Russia, said she also wanted unity. “But unfortunately the exact opposite is happening right now,” he said in a phone interview.


The Oscars also focused on Navalny’s stance on Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula that Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014. This year, he said he doesn’t think Crimea is a sandwich that can be flipped back and forth.

Navalny has long said he would hold an honest referendum asking Crimeans which country they want to be a part of if he becomes president. However, last month, he changed his stance and said Russia should respect Ukraine’s 1991 borders.

Some Ukrainians were not convinced, and were surprised that a documentary about him won the Oscar instead of a Ukrainian contender, said to be a co-production. Home of the Splinters– which tells the story of an orphanage destroyed by Russian forces.

“Tonight proved once again that Russian propaganda works very well and knows how to promote pseudo-heroes where there are no heroes,” said Azad Safarov, who helped create the production for Ukraine. Kay, said on Facebook.

Andriy Sadovy, mayor of the Ukrainian city of Lviv, recalled Navalny’s Crimea sandwich comments with disapproval.

“Navalny is a sandwich packed in a lunchbox that is carried around the world as an example of the fact that there is still opposition in Russia,” Sadovyi wrote on Twitter. He added that it smacks of Russian propaganda and now the Oscar statuette.

Maria Sengovia, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the opposition’s fear of alienating supporters in Russia, where anti-war sentiment is not widespread, has prevented the opposition from broadcasting messages about the war in Ukraine.

“It’s been a year, and yet the Russian opposition in exile is even more divided and fighting continues,” he said in a phone interview.

Nikita Yuferev, a Russian opposition municipal deputy now living abroad, acknowledged disarray within the opposition but blamed the Kremlin’s 20-year crackdown. “It’s headless, it’s deviant, but there are objective reasons.”

Navalny’s ally Milov said it would stand firm.

“There are problems and mistakes, but we managed to avoid the terrible blow that Putin has been inflicting on us for the last few years,” Milov said on YouTube.

“We are not going to give up.”

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