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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny risks it all for democracy. Will GOP senators do the same?

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By Trudy Rubin

Alexei Navalny, Russia's leading fighter for democracy, returned home last week, after recuperating in Germany from a Kremlin attempt to murder him by poison as he campaigned in Siberia.

It is almost impossible to comprehend the bravery it took for Navalny to take that risk. He faced a phalanx of Russian police at the airport, and a swift mock trial in a police station, after which he was jailed, at the total mercy of would-be Kremlin killers.

Yet there is something painfully appropriate about Navalny taking that gamble the very same week Donald Trump leaves office. Trump will be recalled by historians mainly for his Big Lie about a "stolen" election that incited thousands of his fans to sack the U.S. Capitol.

But Navalny's bravery sends another message altogether, reminding Americans that peaceful elections can no longer be taken for granted in this country.

"What makes Navalny do what he did?" an Iranian-born artist named Marhan Moghaddam tweeted last week. "To teach all the cowards in our world you have choices (if you want to be) on the right side of history." Every GOP senator voting whether to convict Trump on inciting insurrection will face such a choice in the coming weeks.

The impact of the Capitol insurrection on foreign allies and adversaries cannot be overestimated ― along........

© The Korea Times

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