Russian President Vladimir Putin has his hands full these days. Not only is he dealing with his citizens dropping dead from COVID-19, but he also just got punched in the nose by the EU. The guy he failed to kill and now has locked up in a jail cell, Russian oppostion leader Alexei Navalny, was just awarded the European Union’s most prestigious human rights trophy.
You may recall how Putin had his thugs poison Navalny with a nerve agent that should have been the end of him. But the 45-year-old survived after being treated in a German hospital, only to be immediately arrested and imprisoned when he stepped off the plane in Moscow. He was awarded the prize for his “immense personal bravery.”
EU Parliament President David Sassoli issued a statement saying, “He (Navalny) has campaigned against the corruption of Vladimir Putin’s regime, and through his social media accounts and political campaigns, Navalny has helped expose abuses and mobilize the support of millions of people across Russia. For this, he was poisoned and thrown in jail.”
Sassoli’s statement also called on Putin to immediately release Navalny from prison.
The European Union, which consists of 27 separate nations, hasn’t been seeing eye-to-eye with the Russian dictator for quite some time. It all started in 2014 when Moscow annexed the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine and then threw its support behind Ukraine insurgents.
Navalny’s treatment has severed any remaining Russian ties with the EU that may have still been hanging by a thread. The EU rightfully holds Putin responsible for Navalny’s poor health and recognizes how his imprisonment is strictly politically motivated. The man has done nothing wrong and has violated no laws.
Believing the rest of the free world to be mentally impaired, the Kremlin said it had nothing to do with the poisoning. The EU said otherwise by sanctioning the six top Kremlin diplomats they believe to have been involved in the deadly scheme.
Leonid Volkov, Navalny’s chief right-hand man, said in a tweet that the award was “well-deserved.” The tweet went on to thank everyone who has supported his co-heart. A diehard ally of Navalny’s, Ivan Zhdanov, simply tweeted, “Hoorah!”
Navalny beat out former Bolivian President Jeanine Anez, who is also politically imprisoned, and a group of brave Afghan women for their dealings with the Taliban, for the 50,000-euro prize which equates to roughly 58,200 U.S. dollars.
The annual award has been being handed out since 1988 and was named after former Soviet dissident, Andrei Sakharov. Its purpose is in honoring those who stand up for human rights and freedoms in the midst of adverse situations, with their lives if need be.
Many of the individuals and groups who have received the award are unrecognizable. These defenders of democracy work behind the scenes without seeking recognition for their heroic deeds in the name of humanity. Fame is not their purpose. The fair and equitable treatment of all is the only prize they seek, and we can only wish there were more like Navalny.