Hello and welcome back to The Best & The Brightest, your daily politics dispatch from D.C. brought to you by Tara Palmeri, Tina Nguyen, Peter Hamby and yours truly.
Today is especially exciting because tomorrow, instead of being worse, is the day that we at Puck are throwing a party at the French ambassador’s house, to celebrate our new Washington newsletter as well as the First Amendment. It’s going to be a full house. Personally, I’m excited to show my New York and L.A. colleagues that Washington can have fun, too. Sometimes.
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A gripping conversation with Christo Grozev, lead Russia investigator for Bellingcat, about his role in the Oscar-nominated documentary ‘Navalny,’ sleeper agents in Europe, and why he can’t go home again.
The Oscars are on Sunday and, while this is normally an event I don’t care about, this year is different. This year, the Academy has nominated Daniel Roher’s film Navalny for best documentary—and it could very well win.
The film follows Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny around Germany as he recovers from his Novichok poisoning and then on to Russia, where he was arrested on arrival at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on January 17, 2021. Navalny has remained in prison ever since, the state adding more and more years to his sentence, while tormenting him with ever crueler conditions. He has spent several weeks in solitary confinement. When he isn’t there, prison authorities put contagiously ill people in his cell and then...