Russian dissident and Putin critic Alexei Navalny has warned of the dangers of a second term for Donald Trump as president, calling the former commander-in-chief’s agenda “truly terrifying” in a letter sent to a friend from prison.
In the message, first published by The New York Times, Navalny wrote that if President Joe Biden suffered a health problem, then “Trump will become president… Isn’t this obvious thing worrying Democrats?”
The activist wrote to photographer Evgeny Feldman when he spoke to him about his concerns, showing that despite being imprisoned in exile, he remained aware of geopolitics.
“Please name a current politician you admire,” he asked Feldman in the conclusion of a letter about Trump written from the penal colony known as The Polar Wolf.
Meanwhile, in bizarre comments about Navalny’s death, Trump made no reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s role, instead using his platform to compare it to his own personal legal problems.
‘The sudden death of Alexei Navalny has made me increasingly aware of what is happening in our country. It is a slow and steady progression, with corrupt and radical left-wing politicians, prosecutors and judges leading us down a path to destruction,” he wrote on TruthSocial.
Russian authorities said the cause of Navalny’s death on Friday at age 47 is still unknown, and the results of any investigation are likely to be questioned abroad. Many Western leaders have already said they hold Putin responsible for the death.
Navalny points out that if President Joe Biden suffered a health problem, Trump could easily win a second term
Alexei Navalny shared letters laced with dark humor, religious references and grim insights about prison life with a former gulag survivor, Natan Sharansky, the year before his death, his newly published notes reveal.
Trump’s strange message comparing his legal problems to Navalny’s death has been harshly criticized.
In several speeches on possible foreign policy, Trump has said his administration will not defend NATO members that fail to meet their defense spending goals and that he would encourage Russia to attack member states that become delinquent.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov criticized the Western leaders’ accusations as “rude” and “inadmissible.”
“Such statements cannot cause any harm to the head of our state, but they are certainly not appropriate for those who make them,” Peskov said in a call with reporters.
Responding to the shocking statement, Rep. Nancy Pelosi told MSNBC’s Jen Psaki in an interview that his comments were “below the dignity of a human being.”
“You wonder, what does Putin have over Donald Trump that he always has to be indebted to him, his friend in vileness?” he said.
“It’s so horrible that you think, ‘No, someone must have done it.’ Not even Donald Trump could go that far. “This statement should disqualify him from running for anything, let alone president of the United States.”
Trump’s comments came as Navalny’s widow vowed Monday to continue her fight against the Kremlin, while authorities denied her mother access to a morgue where his body is believed to be held after his death.
Her voice breaking at times in a video posted on social media, Yulia Navalnaya accused Putin of killing her husband in the remote prison and alleged that officials’ refusal to hand over the body to her mother-in-law was part of a cover-up. above.
Navalny’s death has deprived the Russian opposition of its best-known and most inspiring politician less than a month before an election that will surely give Putin another six years in power.
It dealt a devastating blow to many Russians, who had seen Navalny as a rare hope for political change amid Putin’s relentless crackdown on the opposition.
He had been imprisoned since January 2021, when he returned to Moscow after recovering in Germany from a nerve agent poisoning that he blamed on the Kremlin.
He received three prison sentences. since his arrest, for a series of charges that he has rejected as politically motivated.
“They are cowardly and meanly hiding his body, refusing to hand it over to his mother and lying miserably while waiting for the trace of the poison to disappear,” Navalnaya said, suggesting her husband could have been killed with a Novichok-style nerve agent.
She urged Russians to join her “in sharing not only the pain and endless pain that has engulfed and gripped us, but also my anger.”
He continued: ‘The main thing we can do for Alexei and for ourselves is to keep fighting. … We all need to unite in a strong fist and hit that crazy regime.’
In other letters, Navalny exchanged deeply personal memos with Israel’s former deputy prime minister Sharansky, 76, in March and April 2023.
In his first note, he wrote “I hope I am the last to endure this,” less than a year before he was allegedly fatally poisoned with Novichok in a Siberian penal colony on February 16, 2024.
Sharansky was held in a Moscow labor camp for nine years starting in 1978 after he was denied permission to leave what was then the Soviet Union and go to Israel, and the two bonded over how little has changed. in the brutal Russian prison system ever since.
Their historical friendship – recognized in the letters obtained by The free press – was sparked by Navalny’s revelation that he read Sharansky’s memoirs, Fear No Evil, in the gulag where he died.