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Alexey Navalny Dies In Prison

2024-02-16 | 🔗
Alexey Navalny Dies In Prison
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Alright Alexander, we have some breaking news We don't know much about the circumstances In and around this this breaking news story But let's discuss it. Alexei Navalny has... Has died in prison, in a Russian prison. He was 47 and the reports are right now. Stress this right now, the reports are that he died of a blood clot. This could change with more time and with more... Or investigation, but as of this moment that we're recording this video on a Friday afternoon, the cause of death appears to be a blood clot. Um.
Look, NATO is saying that they want answers to this question. I've already seen some tweets. They want answers to the circumstances around his death. I'm already seeing tweets from various European government officials saying that Russia is to blame and Putin killed the body. We're gonna get a lot of this now You you've covered on the pretty extensively. What are your thoughts about this? What does this mean going forward? Well.
Well, of course the first thing to say when anybody dies is that this is a tragedy for him and it's a tragedy for his family, and one has to always remember that. I mean, whatever your personal views about Navalny, this is a tragedy for them, and one has to think about those people at this time. But, you know, we are a geopolitical channel. We have to deal with the geopolitical and political implications of this. The first thing to say is that Navalny has died, and he's died young, and there will be questions, and, you know, logically there ought to be an autopsy and an investigation. But whatever that investigation produces, even if third parties were to participate in it, as night follows day, the narrative that we will be getting in the West is that he has been murdered by the Russian authorities on Putin's orders.
I mean, that is going to be what they're all going to say. And it's, I personally think, unlikely to be true. Why would Putin want to murder Navalny now when he's in prison and a discredited figure in Russia itself? You know, that's my opinion. I can't disprove the fact that Putin murdered him. I don't believe it myself, but I can't disprove it.
But the point is that that is what people are going to say. The problem the West has, they'll be talking about Navalny, they'll be talking about Navalny continuously, but having made these claims about Putin, you know, the mass killer and mass murderer, to such an extent already, I doubt that it's going to have very much traction, because by now Putin has been bomb-proofed against all of this. I mean, they've made these claims about Putin so often that ultimately it's not going to damage him politically in Russia, and it's not going to damage him politically in the West. What it does do is that it… The West, this death, however it happened, deprives the West of the one figure who – entirely wrongly in my opinion – but the one figure…
That they still imagined might one day take over from Putin and lead Russia and lead Russia in a pro-Western direction. But, in a sense, they will see it as a defeat for themselves, just as they will see it as a defeat for themselves. They saw the death of Prigozhin last summer as a defeat for themselves, because without Prigozhin… without Navalny, of course, two completely different people. There is no one, no one, to challenge Putin who might take Russia in a different direction. Direction. There is no one like that left. Well, I mean, to be accurate, the West may have had... That perception about Navalny and other opposition figures as well, not only Navalny, but all of the opposition figures that they liked.
Promote. They may have that perception from the outside looking in, but inside of Russia, all of these figures, all of these people are polling anywhere between half a percent to maybe 1% or 2% at best. I mean, I'm being very optimistic here as far as their polling numbers. I mean, the. Her Communist Party. They are the number two. Party in Russia, and they are strong. They're a strong party in Russia with representation. But, um...
>>BRUNO The death of Navalny most likely was or is related, at least the reports that we're getting is that it's related to the blood clot to a health issue. So I don't want to get into that. But the timing of Navalny. Theory type of narratives, but we have to talk about this. You have Avdefka, the collapse of Avdefka. You just had this interview with Tucker Carlson where... I guess you could say for lack of a better word that Putin was presented in a favorable light to the Western audience. You could make that argument. Putin has elections in a month.
You can see that the West is scrambling to try and figure out a narrative for these elections. That's anti-Putin there. They're trying to find figures. The BBC is really trying hard to find various opposition figures to build up, but no one really resonates with a Western audience. They had this... God believe this lady and not there's no I forgot their days, but they're they don't stick in the memory and that they realize So what do you make of everything that has happened in the last week? Really has tilted to the benefit of Putin and Russia. Now you're going to have a story which, as you rightly said, the Getting up the video is a tragedy for his family and for his loved ones. Um. But it is a story that's going to tilt in the West negatively for Russia and for Putin. It is going to tilt very neg-
It's a play. I mean over the next couple of days We're going to have lots and lots of stories about Navalny and the country where perhaps this is going to make the biggest impact Because they've made a big Big issue of him. There is Germany, by the way. Merkel went way out supporting Navalny, very much, by the way, to Putin's ultimate irritation. So it's going to be heavily played And featured in the German media. But ultimately, as I said, in terms of its political consequences, and even its, you know, if you like, media consequences,
Well, maybe it will take away some attention from Avdafka, maybe it will take away some attention from Tucker Colson's interview with Putin, but in the fairly short run it really won't matter, because the Western public has been told about Putin being this ruthless… Dictator who murders his opponents for so long that this is just another example of this as far as they're concerned. I mean, it's not going to change perceptions of Putin radically. In any way.
But those who choose to believe that Putin is this murderer would not have been persuaded by Tucker Carlson that he is not. And those who were impressed by Putin in that interview, I doubt that they're going to let allow an event like this. Navalny's death to worry them too much either. I mean, that sounds all very brutal and rather cynical, but I think this is the case. What I think it does do – and I come back to what I'm saying – is that ultimately it deprives the West of even a symbolic figure that they can latch onto.
Say that he's the true opposition to Putin in Russia. Navalny was not the true opposition to Putin in Russia. You're absolutely correct. If you're talking about the true opposition to Putin in Russia, mostly it comes at the Communist Party, possibly the right-wing Liberal Democratic Party, which is not liberal or democratic, but he's not liberal in any conceivable shape or form, but they might. You know, become conceivably a stronger political force. But Navalny, the only time he ever…
Moscow, and he got on a very low turnout, something like 29% of the vote in Moscow, which is far and away Russia's most liberal city.
About the West, a political leader who is aligned with the West and who is a liberal and who thinks that what happened or thought…who thinks that what happened in Russia in the 1990s was an entirely good thing, is not going to gain traction amongst most Russians. That is the political reality that most Westerners will always oppose. I could just say one thing about Navalny's... Death, and I want to make it very clear – I'm not making any claims now – I mean, he is someone who apparently has had a record of health problems. Just saying. So I'm not going to... But it's true. It is true. I mean, it is factually true. It is not disputed.
Became a liberal, but he was also in his early days, he was very much a. Anti-Muslim, I guess you could say anti-immigration. Absolutely. This is a very good point, because of course he started…at the very start of his career, he was part of Yabloko, which is Russia's biggest liberal party. Everything that suggested that he was a liberal, with all the usual conventional liberal views. And then he became a blogger, making a big issue of corruption matters, except of course he didn't actually expose much real corruption in Russia; he raked up various scandals, which, when you looked at them in detail, tended not to be scandals at all, and didn't touch
Important people who really mattered. But that's another story. And then he started to take an increasingly nationalist, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim line. And there are many views about this. One view is that he sincerely believes these things, and that he is someone who really does have these opinions. They got him, by the way, expelled from Yabloko. Grigori Yavlinsky, who's the president of the Yabloko party, has absolutely no track was Navalny at all. He considers him a…
He considered him to be a nationalist xenophobe and he felt that this was in no conceivable sense a proper liberal position. And there are other people in Russian liberal politics who feel the same way.
Somehow reach out to working class Russians in that sort of way. And of course what he discovered is that working class Russians had little difficulty figuring out that he was really a liberal all along and that all these anti-immigrant positions he was taking were not really... And I think also, going beyond that, I'm not sure that anti-immigrant policies were quite as important for them as Navalny imagined they were, given that the government itself does have a fairly strong policies about immigration. So, in the end, it failed, and over time he…
He gradually dropped those positions when he saw that they weren't working, and drifted instead back towards more conventional liberal politics. Rather than a real sign of where his real ideas and positions were. Alex Right. Let me ask you a final question, and I think we do have to explore this line of thought as well. Protests in Moscow, protests in St. Petersburg, do you think something has been activated in order to get some sort of instability started in the...
So we'll use this in one form or another to escalate with Russia. Perhaps as a way to push for money to Ukraine, perhaps as a way to push for more weapons to Ukraine, perhaps as a way to push for more sanctions. Or something, some sort of mechanism to escalate further with Russia, given the way they're going to position and report about the Navalny. What do you think about… I mean, I think it is highly likely there will be attempts to organize protests in Moscow and St Petersburg. And perhaps even in other places. And I also think that they're going to use this fully to the extent that they can.
It's going to work, I think, at the end of the day. If there are protests, they'll be small, and the authorities have shown that they have all the means that they need to control those protests. So I don't think that's going to make a big dent in Putin's position. That is one. And the second is obviously, as I said, they're going to use it to blacken Putin's name even further. But the problem they've just said they have is that they've demonized Putin already to such an extreme degree that I just don't really see how adding this one on is going to add to the totality of what they've been doing for many years now. The one thing it could do – and this isn't to be completely discounted – is if we get a president in the future, say a President Trump, just say it.
Who does want to meet Putin, tried to find some way forward to try to repair relations. That president might find that he has, you know, Navalny thrown into his face what happened to Navalny thrown into his face. They'll say, How can you sit down with a murderer, someone who murders Navalny in the way that he has done? And it might make any attempt to improve relations with the West even more difficult.
You know, nothing about what's going on, but you already have a collective West leader saying that Putin did it. Of course, one final question. And whatever happens, as if we have an autopsy carried out by, say, doctors from South Africa and India and wherever, and they come up and say that there's absolutely no evidence of any foul play at all, they'll still insist that there is. So this is the reality of it. He has many opponents in Russia, not the fact that people should forget. And, you know, he's got opponents not just with his… the government, which he does, but also within wider society and within some of the people he's come up against in what has been a very complex political period.
So I'm not making any judgments about how this came about. I was going to say something like your thoughts on how if because we know. The West is going to use this to damage Putin. I mean, is there a counter argument that can be made with what they're doing to Assange to various journalists or other people that they have had in custody? We know who we're talking about, but I mean, is, I mean, does this, will the statements
Kill Mevane, this judgment that they've already passed. Will it carry the same weight given what we know about what the West has been doing to journalists that they've held in custody or that they're allies? have held in custody? Well, I mean, absolutely. I mean, you know, we know journalists. I mean, Gonzalo was killed. Died. His father considers that he was killed. Nobody talks about it. In the West, there is so much control that, you know, this isn't probably going to penetrate and break through. But outside the collective West – I mean, they've worked this out now a long time ago – they know all about this. Exactly what Kirilu Budhanov gets up to. They know all about what, you know, the various assassinations that have taken place. They know all about, you know, the case, Assange's case and all of those cases.
I'm in the wider world. This is all very well understood. But as a In the West, in the collective West, don't expect that alternative narrative to be granted much space and to gain any kind of traction. Okay, we will leave it there. I don't know if you have any other thoughts with this breaking news. Again, we're reporting this news on Friday afternoon on February 16th, so things may change by this evening or by tomorrow or over the weekend. I have to say this again, and I want to repeat this, I don't think Navalny had any political traction in Russia. He did briefly have a certain amount of support in Moscow, but that has…
Whittled away. And the reality about Navalny, which again Westerners find very difficult to understand, or at least Western critics of Russia find very difficult to understand, is that the more of The more that Russians saw, the more his support tended to dwindle away. He was not actually someone who was able to get a message across to most Russians. They didn't like him and they didn't like his message. And he's…
In politics, not a significant event, however difficult it is for some people to accept. What the reaction is going to be, though. Alexander M Yes, yes. But there will be a sense of frustration and disappointment also, because this is the one person that they'd still staked all their hopes on. Has now gone. And there is no one now who can take…there's no obvious figure out there who can replace Amongst some Russians, and in the wider West. Everybody else is just a great blur.
And present off all t-shirts. Take care.
Transcript generated on 2024-02-17.