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The Tragedy of Navalny

alexey navalny
If the Russian opposition had been eviscerated two years ago with Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and the introduction of military censorship, the death of Alexey Navalny seemed to have snapped its spine. Photo: Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Julia Ioffe
February 19, 2024

On Thursday night, I ran into Yulia Navalnaya in the lobby of the Bayerischer Hof, the Munich hotel where, once a year, heads of state, intelligence chiefs, defense ministers, and foreign secretaries come together to discuss the state of the world. She was talking to Leonid Volkov, her husband Alexey Navalny’s longtime lieutenant, and Michael McFaul, the former U.S. ambassador to Moscow and a professor at Stanford, where the Navalnys’ daughter, Dasha, is a senior. I hadn’t seen any of them in a long time, so I came over to say hi. 

“How’s Alexey doing?” I asked after we’d caught up briefly about our own lives. Yulia responded nonchalantly. “He’s good!” she smiled.