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Putin must be prevented from murdering Navalny

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By Trudy Rubin

When President Joe Biden agreed with a newscaster that Vladimir Putin was "a killer," I initially thought it a tactical error.

Not that the Russian leader isn't a killer, having sent agents to murder dissidents abroad and to poison opposition leader Alexei Navalny at home ― not to mention the murders of scores of other Russian activists and journalists on his watch.

Yet I thought it preferable to confront Putin in private, letting him know that, unlike Donald Trump, Biden and U.S. allies rejected the Russian's fake denials. That way, necessary business could still be done with Moscow, but in a no-nonsense, no-illusions fashion.

However, it appears that Putin ― despite his put-on pique at Biden's "killer" label ― doesn't care if the world sees him kill Navalny. As soon as the opposition leader returned home from lifesaving treatment in Berlin, he was jailed on trumped-up charges and sent to one of Russia's most notorious prisons. Having fallen seriously ill again, denied medical care, he has gone on a hunger strike and could die in prison.

Putin clearly believes he can kill opposition leaders with impunity, just as China's Xi Jinping believes he can crush Hong Kong democracy and imprison a million Uyghurs with impunity. U.S. and European sanctions haven't stopped either leader in their push to prove authoritarian systems are........

© The Korea Times

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