Jailed Kremlin Critic Official: ‘Putin Will Fall’
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News reporting from Budapest
BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – The spokeswoman of jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny says Russia’s President Vladimir Putin cannot win the war in Ukraine and will lose power.
Kira Yarmysh, who fled Russia after a Moscow court imposed “restricted freedom” on her, told reporters in Budapest on Thursday that Putin expected his troops to be welcomed with flowers.
“Putin has this crazy idea of restoring the great Russian empire,” Hungarian media quoted her as saying. “He thought it would be easy, and he still did not have real information about the situation, but it’s sure he will lose,” she told Forbes Hungary magazine.
Yarmysh, 32, spoke at an apparently carefully guarded event in Hungary’s capital while presenting the Hungarian edition of her non-fiction novel “Locked Up. Incredible Incidents In Women’s Cell No. 3”
The novel was censored in Russia, where a prominent book fair last year abruptly canceled its presentation. Yarmysh’s book, about six women who share stories while stuck in a jail cell, came out in the fall of 2020.
She later faced house arrest and possible prison on charges that she and nine others “endangered public health” for promoting pro-democracy protests during the coronavirus pandemic.
The young author, who fled her country last year after months of detention and other freedom limitations, said she wanted to return to Russia as quickly as possible. “In recent years, I thought it could not get worse. But I’m already optimistic about the outcome of the war [in Ukraine],” Yarmysh stressed. “It will cause Putin’s loss. So I see Russia and my future [more optimistically], and I hope to return to my country soon,” she added.
Her comments come amid reports that thousands of Russian troops were killed, including generals and senior officers, amid stiff resistance by Ukrainian forces. The Kremlin has so far acknowledged hundreds of casualties and launched a crackdown on anti-war protestors.
Additionally, Kremlin critic Navalny and allies were added to an official list of “terrorists and extremists” as part of attempts to stamp out opposition to President Putin.
Authorities reportedly also want Navalny’s brother Oleg to be given a real jail term in place of a one-year suspended sentence handed to him last year.
Navalny, the 45-year old anti-corruption campaigner and a thorn in Putin’s side for the past decade, survived being poisoned with a nerve agent in 2020, recalled Yarmysh. “I decided to write a book when I had to spend twenty-five days in a detention camp [for political activities] in 2018,” she remembered.
“I thought that experience was the worst that could happen to me. But two years later, I was on the plane where my boss Alexey Navalnij fell ill after being poisoned. I thought it was the worst thing that could happen to this world,” Yarmysh said.
“Fortunately, Alexei recovered, and we returned from Germany to Russia. But he was immediately arrested,” Yarmysh explained.
After returning to Russia from Germany, Navalny was jailed last year on “parole violations” related to an earlier fraud case he says was trumped up.
His political network was banned as “extremist” last year, and allies like Yarmysh were prosecuted.
Yet, with Russia facing international isolation over its increasingly bloody war in Ukraine, she believes Putin will eventually be forced out of office.
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