“How we will live on.” Yulia Navalnaya speaks
“How we will live on.” Yulia Navalnaya speaks
19 February 2024, 15:44

Yulia Navalnaya. Screenshot from the video

Three days have passed since the first news about the death of Alexei Navalny in a penal colony above the Arctic circle. Despite the threat of arrest, people all over Russia are bringing flowers to spontaneous monuments. The politician’s family still doesn’t know where his body is. Yulia Navalnaya, Alexei’s widow, released a statement on his YouTube channel. Here is a translated transcript of what she said, with quotes from Alexei.

Hello, it’s Yulia Navalnaya.

Today, I would like to speak to you for the first time on this channel. I should not have been in this place. I should not have recorded this video. There should have been another person in my place. But this person was killed by Vladimir Putin.

Three days ago, Vladimir Putin killed my husband, Alexei Navalny. Putin killed the father of my children. Putin took away the most precious thing I had, the closest and most beloved person.

But Putin has also taken Navalny away from you. Somewhere in a colony in the far north, above the Arctic Circle, in the eternal winter. Putin not only killed the man called Alexei Navalny, he also wanted to kill our hopes, our freedom, and our future. He wanted to destroy and erase the best proof that Russia can be different. That we are strong, that we are courageous, that we believe and fight desperately. And that we want to live differently.

Alexei Navalny: “Together we will turn our country into the beautiful Russia of the future.”

All these years I was always by Alexei's side. Elections, rallies, house arrests, searches, detentions, prison, poisoning, rallies again, arrests and prison again. Here is our last meeting with him in mid-February 2022, and here is our last photo. Exactly two years later, Putin will kill him.

All these years I was by Alexei's side, I was happy to stand by Alexei's side and support him. But today I want to be by your side. Because I know that you have lost as much as I have. Alexei died in prison after being tortured and tormented for three years.

He was not only imprisoned, not imprisoned as others are imprisoned, he was tortured. He was kept in a punishment cell, in a concrete box, please imagine that. It's a room of 6 or 7 square meters, with nothing but a stool, a sink, a hole in the floor instead of a toilet and a bed strapped to the wall so you can not lie down on it. A cup, a book and a toothbrush - that's all he had. For hundreds of days.

He was bullied, cut off from the world, not given a pen or paper to write a letter to me or our children. He was starving. He starved for three years. And not only did he not give up, he cheered us up the whole time. He cheered us up. He laughed. He made jokes. He encouraged us. Never for a split second did he question what he was fighting or suffering for.

Yulia Navalnaya's video (with English subtitles)

My husband was unbreakable. And that's exactly why Putin killed him. Shamefully, cowardly, without ever looking him in the eye or even mentioning his name. And just as shamefully and cowardly, they are now hiding his body, not showing it to his family, not giving it to them, but lying and waiting pitifully for the traces of Putin's another Novichok to disappear.

We know exactly why Putin killed Alexei three days ago. We will tell you about it soon. We will definitely find out who exactly and how exactly committed this crime. We will tell you their names and show you their faces.

But the most important thing we can do (for Alexei and for ourselves) is to keep fighting. Harder, more desperately and more fiercely than before. I know it seems impossible to do more, but we have to do more. We should all unite in a strong fist and defeat this crazy regime. We should defeat Putin, his friends, the bandits in shoulder straps, the thieves and murderers who have destroyed our country.

I know and feel how much you want to know why he came back. Why would he voluntarily place himself in the hands of those who once almost killed him? Why would he sacrifice himself in this way? After all, he could have lived a normal life with his family, not talking, not investigating, not speaking and not fighting.

But he could not do that. Alexei loved Russia more than anything else in the world. He loved our country, he loved you. He believed in us, in our strength, in our future and in the fact that we deserve the best. Not only with words, but also with deeds. He believed in it so deeply and sincerely that he was ready to give his life for it.

And his great love is enough for us to continue his work. As long as it's necessary. We’ll work fiercely and courageously as Alexei did.

Alexei Navalny: “I don't have another country. I have nowhere to retreat to. There is no other country, no another Moscow, no other family, no other people but you.”

Everyone is thinking now: Where will we get the strength, how will we live on? We'll draw strength from him. In his memory, in his ideas, in his thoughts, in his inexhaustible trust in us. I personally will draw my strength from this.

By killing Alexei, Putin killed half of me, half of my heart and half of my soul. But I still have the other half. And it tells me that I have no right to give up.

Alexei Navalny: “Don't be silent, keep fighting, go to the rallies. No one will protect us except for us. And there are many of us, and if we want to achieve something, we will achieve it.”

I will continue the work of Alexei Navalny. I will continue to fight for our country. And I encourage you to stand by my side. Do not just share the grief and endless pain that has enveloped us and will not let go. I ask you to share this anger with me. Anger, rage, hatred for those who have dared to destroy our future.

I address you with the words of Alexei, in which I firmly believe: “It is not shameful to do little, it is shameful to do nothing. It is shameful to be intimidated.”

We must use every opportunity: Fight against war, against corruption, against injustice. Fight for fair elections and freedom of expression, fight to take back our country.

Alexei Navalny: “I know what I'm fighting for. I'm fighting for the new future of my family and my children.”

Russia, the free, peaceful, happy, beautiful Russia of the future, of which my husband was dreaming about that is what we need. I want to live in such a Russia, and I want our children to live in such a Russia. I want to build it together with you. Exactly as Alexei Navalny envisioned it. Full of dignity, justice and love. There is no other way. The unthinkable sacrifice he had made can not be in vain. Keep fighting and do not give up.

I am not afraid, and I urge you not to be afraid of anything as well.

Alexei Navalny: “All it takes for evil to triumph is the inaction of good people. So there is no need for inaction.”

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