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Why is Julian Assange in the news again?
Why is Julian Assange in the news again? | Ian Bremmer | World In :60

Why is Julian Assange in the news again?

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

What's left to sanction with Russia and have existing sanctions been effective?

There's very little left to sanction with Russia that the Americans and their allies want to sanction. I mean, you could try to cut off Russian oil exports to, say, India, but no one wants to do that because that would cause a global recession. Food, fertilizer, same thing. At the end of the day, the sanctions that the West can put on Russia without a massive impact to themselves and the world they've already put. But because Biden said there'd be hell to pay if anything happened to Navalny in jail and he's dead now, and it's pretty clear the Russians, the Kremlin killed him. That means they have to sound tough. But ultimately, the only thing that is changing Russian behavior is the provision of significant military support to the Ukrainians, and that is determined by US Congress going forward.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia, on February 20, 2024.

Alexander Kazakov/REUTERS

Is Putin on a roll?

Five days ago, Russia’s most prominent dissident, Alexei Navalny, dropped dead in a remote Arctic prison. Three days ago, Russian forces in Ukraine scored their first major victory in months, taking the strategic town of Avdiivka. Two days ago, the body of a Russian helicopter pilot who famously defected to Ukraine last year was found shot dead in Spain. One day ago, authorities in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg arrested a US-Russian dual citizen on charges of treason for raising money for Ukraine and attending demonstrations in Los Angeles.

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Understanding Navalny’s legacy inside Russia
Understanding Navalny’s legacy inside Russia

Understanding Navalny’s legacy inside Russia

Russian dissident Alexei Navalny was a uniquely charismatic, fearless, and media-savvy critic of Putin’s regime who will be extremely hard to replace, says GZERO’s Alex Kliment. But as beloved as he was internationally for his fearless stance against the country’s strongman leader within Russia, his appeal was somewhat limited to educated elites.

“There was a poll last year that only about 10% of Russians saw Navalny as someone whose activities they approved of about 40 or 50% said they disapproved him Navalny” Kliment says. “And a quarter of Russians had never even heard of him.”In 2020, recall, he was poisoned with a nerve agent in an attack that he blamed on the Kremlin. He later, on camera, tricked a Russian security official into appearing to admit responsibility for the hit.

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A person lights a candle next to a portrait of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny at the monument to the victims of political repressions following Navalny's death, in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on Feb. 16, 2024.

REUTERS/Stringer

Navalny’s death: Five things to know

Alexei Navalny, Russia’s most charismatic and outspoken opposition leader, has reportedly died in prison, where he was serving a decades-long sentence for extremism.

His death is on Vladimir Putin. Did Navalny die, or was he killed? We will of course never know. The Kremlin says he fell ill after a walk. He had been imprisoned in extremely harsh conditions on charges widely regarded as political. His lawyers have repeatedly drawn attention to threats to his health, which was the Russian prison system’s responsibility. Still, yesterday he appeared well enough in a court appearance by video link, cracking his characteristically dark jokes about how the “conditions are good.”

In 2020, recall, he was poisoned with a nerve agent in an attack that he blamed on the Kremlin. He later, on camera, tricked a Russian security official into appearing to admit responsibility for the hit.

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Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny is seen here at a rally to mark the 5th anniversary of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov's murder, in Moscow, Russia on Feb. 29, 2020.

REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov/File Photo

Putin critic Alexei Navalny dies in prison

News broke early Friday that Russian dissident Alexei Navalny – a vocal critic of President Vladimir Putinhas died in prison. “On 16.02.24 in the correctional colony number three, convict Navalny felt ill after a walk almost immediately losing consciousness,” the Federal Penitentiary Service for Yamal said in a statement, noting that emergency services were unable to revive him.

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Russian lawyer and blogger Alexei Navalny speaks during an interview with Reuters

RUSSIA-NAVALNY/ REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

Santa's newest neighbor: Navalny's Arctic transfer aims to ice out opposition

They found him! After three weeks without a word from Alexei Navalny, Russia’s most prominent opposition leader has confirmed he isn’t dead, he’s just been transferred to a remote Arctic Circle penal colony. With his customary black humor, Navalny reported that, owing to his new digs, he is the “New Santa Claus.”
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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Reuters

Could Alexei Navalny be traded for a killer?

According to the Wall Street Journal, Russian dissident Alexei Navalny’s name has come up in possible prisoner-swap scenarios between Russia, Germany, and the US.

At the moment, two US citizens are jailed in Russia on what the US says are bogus charges: US marine veteran Paul Whelan, and Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich.

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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is seen on a screen via video link during a court hearing in Moscow.

Reuters

Hard Numbers: Navalny’s next trial, US-Philippine ship sinking, incredibly expensive cigarettes, Sweden hits Norway with rocket

30: Imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said on Wednesday that prosecutors are proceeding with a terrorist charge against him that could add 30 years to his current 11.5-year sentence.

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