Saturday, February 24, 2024

Putin Following Same Strategy in Navalny Case He Earlier Used with Magnitsky, Pastukhov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Feb. 20 – Vladimir Putin is following exactly the same playbook in both the case of Andrey Navalny that he used 15 years ago in that of Sergey Magnitsky, Vladimir Putin says. After killing both when they were behind bars, the Kremlin leader adopted a strategy designed to muddy the waters so as to be able to claim Putin’s non-involvement.

            Then  and again now, the Kremlin-controlled media put out the word that his death was an unhappy accident while unofficially suggesting that the killing was carried out by the enemies of Russia since Moscow had no motive to take such action, the London-based Russian analyst says (

            In both cases, the claim that Moscow had no motive became the Kremlin’s chief “alibi,” with Moscow insisting since there was no motive, there was no reason to believe that it was somehow responsible for the crime. Anyone questioning that notion was asked to provide evidence, something the Kremlin worked hard the and now to hide.

            “Many people suppose that the lack of rational motives” in these cases “means the lack of a motive altogether,” Pastukhov continues. But “that is not so: besides rational motives, there exist irrational ones,” not to mention the possibility of killing because the authors of the crime in the Kremlin could do so with apparent impunity.

            In Pastukhov’s view, there clearly is a motive for both murders: “the irrational fear of the system that everything rests” on the shakiest of foundations that therefore “any unextinguished opposition” threatens to bring down the system, a fear that is especially great when the Kremlin is facing an election as it did at the time of Magnitsky’s death and does again now.


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