It’s time we stop treating Putin like a normal leader

"Russians can’t hold their government accountable for Putin's crimes, but the U.S. and its allies can at least not reward the Kremlin by treating him like a normal leader."

By

Opinion

September 4, 2020 - 1:44 PM

Germany confirmed Wednesday what the world already assumed: Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, who lies in serious condition in a Berlin hospital, was poisoned — specifically, with the nerve agent Novichok.

Russia claims it had no involvement in Mr. Navalny’s illness, but the U.S. and Europe should insist on an independent investigation. “In 2020, poisoning Navalny with Novichok is exactly the same as leaving an autograph at the crime scene. Like this: V.V Putin,” tweeted Leonid Volkov, a close associate of Mr. Navalny.

The nerve agent was developed in Russia’s Soviet era, and only state actors can access it. The U.S. sanctioned Russia after the same type of poison was used against former Russian spy and British double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia on British soil in 2018.

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