The film “Navalny,” awarded best documentary feature film at the Academy Awards on Sunday, is not being screened at maximum security penal colony No. 6 east of Moscow where its star, Alexei Navalny, sits in solitary confinement. Nor is it being shown in public in Russia.
Mr. Navalny, the leading opposition voice to President Vladimir Putin, was the target of an assassination attempt by Russian security services using the chemical weapon Novichok in 2020, followed by sham charges of fraud and a prison sentence totaling 11½ years. He has endured maltreatment and isolation from his family — and should be freed.
Also on the Editorial Board’s agenda
- The misery of Belarus’s political prisoners should not be ignored.
- Biden has a new border plan.
- The United States should keep the pressure on Nicaragua.
- America’s fight against inflation isn’t over.
- The Taliban has doubled down on the repression of women.
- The world’s ice is melting quickly.
As Mr. Navalny wrote in our pages last year, Mr. Putin’s war of aggression not only seeks to destroy Ukraine but also raises the question of what kind of Russia will emerge from the war. Mr. Navalny warned that it could turn toward more militarization and authoritarianism, posing fresh dangers. Or, he suggested, a concerted effort could be made to create a Russian renaissance, taking power out of the hands of one leader and building a parliamentary republic.
It appears unlikely Russia will return to the democratic path it began in 1990s. Much will depend on the war’s outcome. Hopefully, Ukraine will become a thriving, open European society. But we agree with Mr. Navalny that postwar Russia must escape Mr. Putin’s grip and the oppressive autocracy he has imposed.
The Post’s View | About the Editorial Board
Editorials represent the views of The Post as an institution, as determined through debate among members of the Editorial Board, based in the Opinions section and separate from the newsroom.
Members of the Editorial Board and areas of focus: Opinion Editor David Shipley; Deputy Opinion Editor Karen Tumulty; Associate Opinion Editor Stephen Stromberg (national politics and policy, legal affairs, energy, the environment, health care); Lee Hockstader (European affairs, based in Paris); David E. Hoffman (global public health); James Hohmann (domestic policy and electoral politics, including the White House, Congress and governors); Charles Lane (foreign affairs, national security, international economics); Heather Long (economics); Associate Editor Ruth Marcus; and Molly Roberts (technology and society).