Biden, after Navalny’s death, says ‘no doubt’ that ‘Putin and his thugs’ were behind it

President Biden said on Friday, following news of the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, that there is ‘no doubt’ it was a ‘consequence of something that Putin and his thugs did.’ 

Russian officials said Navalny reported feeling unwell following a walk at the penal colony where he was jailed in Siberia before losing consciousness and dying.  

‘Make no mistake, Putin is responsible for Navalny’s death. Putin is responsible,’ Biden told reporters at the White House. ‘What has happened to Navalny is yet more proof of Putin’s brutality. No one should be fooled, not in Russia, not at home, not anywhere in the world.’ 

‘The answer is, we don’t know exactly what happened, but there is no doubt that the death of Navalny was a consequence of something that Putin and his thugs did,’ Biden added.

‘People across Russia and around the world are mourning Navalny today, because he was so many things that Putin was not,’ Biden continued. ‘He was brave, he was principled, he was dedicated to building a Russia where the rule of law existed and where it applied to everybody. Navalny believed in that Russia, that Russia, he knew it was a cause worth fighting for and obviously even dying for.’ 

In 2021, President Biden, after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva, Switzerland, was asked about what would happen if Navalny were to die in Russian custody. 

‘I made it clear to him that I believe the consequences of that would be devastating for Russia,’ Biden said at the time. 

When asked about that remark Friday, Biden said,That was three years ago andn the meantime, they faced a hell of a lot of consequences,’ referring to Russian troop losses in the war in Ukraine and international sanctions waged against their government. 

‘I just want to say ‘God bless Alexei Navalny,’’ Biden concluded. ‘His courage will not be forgotten.’ 

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