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Britain Leads the Charge for Action Against Putin over Navalny's Death

Yesterday, the British government took the lead in fashioning a nasty narrative around the death of the West’s favorite Russian, Alexei Navalny. The U.K. Foreign Office called in a top Russian embassy official to announce that they held Russian authorities “fully responsible” for Navalny’s death. Of some note, this was the case with the 2020 Navalny poisoning, although the U.K., along with Germany, refused all cooperation with Russia at that time in providing the evidence they claimed they had. Similar issues prevailed in the March 2018 poisoning of Sergey and Yulia Skripal case in Salisbury, U.K., putting forward allegations about Novichok as proof. In all three cases, the attacks could not have gained Rusia anything and, rather, had only propaganda benefits for the U.K.

The previous day, in the first hours after Navalny’s death, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron at the Munich Security Conference pronounced: “We should hold Putin accountable for this.... I am clear we will be taking action and I would urge others to do the same”—referring to discussions that he would initiate with other G7 officials. Then yesterday he told Sky News: “There should be consequences when appalling human rights outrages like this take place.”

Russia acknowledged that the U.K. Foreign Office had invited an embassy official for a “discussion,” and said that it was unacceptable for the U.K. to interfere in Russia’s internal affairs. Meanwhile, Russian officials are carrying out an autopsy and medical investigations to figure out what caused Navalny to fall unconscious after his exercise, and not respond to extensive attempts to revive him. So far, there are no indications from Navalny’s family nor his lawyer that Russian authorities were anything but prompt in their actions and announcements.

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