Two years ago today, officers of the Russian government attempted to assassinate opposition leader Aleksey Navalny with a nerve agent on Russian soil. When Mr. Navalny survived the brazen attack and bravely returned to Russia after recovering abroad, the Kremlin shamelessly imprisoned him on politically motivated charges. We again condemn Russia’s use of a chemical weapon to poison a political opponent, and call on the Kremlin to fully declare and dismantle its chemical weapons program. We also join Navalny’s family, colleagues, and supporters around the world in calling for his immediate release.
Since launching its further invasion of Ukraine, the Kremlin has escalated its crackdown on dissent and independent media in Russia, including through broad censorship laws carrying harsh prison sentences. It is no coincidence that the Kremlin’s aggression in Ukraine has been accompanied by intensified repression at home. The Kremlin seeks to prevent the people of Russia from knowing about the atrocities its forces are inflicting on Ukrainian civilians, and also from learning about the needless Russian military casualties for the sake of this unjust war of choice.
We reaffirm our solidarity with Aleksey Navalny, Vladimir Kara-Murza, and other political prisoners in Russia, as well as the thousands of other courageous Russian citizens who, despite personal risk, confront the Kremlin’s lies with the truth.