NATO Should Attack Russia to Get Alexei Navalny and Vladimir Kara-Murza Released

Vladimir Kara-Murza. Photo: CoE
Vladimir Kara-Murza. Photo: CoE

Vladimir Kara-Murza. Photo: CoE

NATO Should Attack Russia to Get Alexei Navalny and Vladimir Kara-Murza Released

Now it is time for NATO to take some effective steps to help people who are being jailed and tortured by Putin.

By Rakesh Raman

All the civil efforts by the world community have failed to get Russia’s most famous dissidents – Alexei Navalny and Vladimir Kara-Murza – released from jails. 

They have been jailed under frivolous charges by the Russian dictator Vladimir Putin for expressing their opinions against Putin’s autocratic actions including the brutal attack on Ukraine.

Putin critic and political opponent Navalny has been languishing in jail since 2021 under a 9-year prison sentence after surviving a poisoning attack allegedly ordered by Putin. As Navalny is again facing a sham trial in jail, his jail term is expected to increase significantly.

And Kara-Murza was sentenced in April 2023 to 25 years in prison for his opposition to Putin and particularly Russia’s ruthless war against Ukraine. In May 2023, Evgenia Kara-Murza, the wife of Kara-Murza, said her husband is undergoing psychological torture in jail. But unfortunately there is no judicial forum in the world where she could appeal to get her husband released.

As usual, the so-called world leaders have been issuing hollow statements in favour of the Russian activists, but none of them have the courage to get them released from Putin’s prisons.

Instead of putting military pressure on Putin to release his political opponents, the world leaders are releasing casual statements which have no effect on Putin who is a merciless dictator.

The hostile action against Navalny has been taken despite a slew of sanctions and censure statements by the U.S. and European leaders against Russia. It is alleged that after sending him to jail under bogus charges, the Russian regime is slowly trying to murder Navalny, who is serving a torturous prison sentence.

Meanwhile, in April 2023, nearly 70 U.S. lawmakers sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, urging the Biden administration to intervene and get the jailed dissident Kara-Murza released. 

They introduced a bipartisan Senate resolution urging the Biden administration to designate Vladimir Kara-Murza as wrongfully detained under United States law. However, it was a perfunctory attempt which could not produce any meaningful result.

Similarly, the UN Human Rights chief Volker Türk said in his carelessly written statement that the 25-year prison sentence handed down by a Moscow court against opposition politician and journalist Vladimir Kara-Murza is another blow to the rule of law and civic space in the Russian Federation.

Instead of getting the Putin critic released from jail, Turk shamelessly said that he must be treated with humanity and respect in jail. Türk has repeatedly failed in his responsibility to protect human rights of people in all parts of the world.

Also, Marija Pejčinović Burić, Secretary General of the 46-nation Council of Europe (CoE) issued a casual statement, “I strongly condemn the sentencing of Russian opposition leader, Vladimir Kara-Murza, to 25 years in prison following a sham trial. “The Council of Europe stands in full solidarity with Mr Kara-Murza and calls for his immediate release.” 

But she could not elaborate how her meaningless words will persuade Putin to release Kara-Murza and protect his rights in the authoritarian regime.

According to a BBC report, the UK Foreign Office announced sanctions against one judge and two investigators involved in Kara-Murza’s trial. The sanctions will also impact two Federal Security Service (FSB) agents suspected of links to his sudden, critical illness in 2015 and 2017 caused by a toxin that has never been identified.

As a result of poisoning, according to the BBC report, Kara-Murza has again been losing feeling in both his feet and his left hand. A prison doctor has diagnosed polyneuropathy, which affects the nerves.

It is being observed that Putin’s opponents are mostly killed, die in mysterious circumstances, poisoned, or jailed in harsh conditions, and some have fled the country to save themselves from Putin’s fury.

They include oligarchs Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Boris Berezovsky, former FBK head Ivan Zhdanov, former FBK lawyer Lyubov Sobol, Leonid Volkov, Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, and others. 

But no international mechanism is available to get justice for Navalny, Kara-Murza, and thousands of others who are being punished by dictator Putin. The useless condemnation statements by world leaders will never help the persecuted communities in any part of the world including Russia.

Therefore, now it is time for NATO to take some effective steps to help people who are being jailed and tortured by Putin. As an immediate action, NATO forces should attack Russia to get the jailed Putin opponents released.

If NATO or other good-for-nothing leaders cannot help Navalny, Kara-Murza, and others, they should stop issuing their stupid statements in their favour.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of the humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society.

Donation: Individual donors can click here to donate online and click here to pay with PayPal.