Navalny received an Oscar. Some Ukrainians are not happy

V:When Alexei Navalny’s documentary of the same name won an Oscar on Sunday, its win was hailed by many in the US as a rebuke to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Indeed, speaking through director Daniel Roher, the Russian opposition leader cited the “unjust war of aggression in Ukraine” as the reason he is currently in solitary confinement in a Russian prison. But there was at least one contingent that was not ready to praise the film. some Ukrainian journalists, scientists and politicians.

Many Twitter users criticized the Academy for marrying into a Russian family in Los Angeles, while so many Ukrainians continue to be threatened by the invasion.

“The first photo is the fight for freedom. The second photo is the struggle for power. Don’t confuse them,” wrote Mezha.Media Editor-in-Chief Taras Mishchenko, juxtaposing the image of Navalny’s family in black tie at the Oscars with the image of Ukrainian soldiers on the battlefield.

Ukrainian politician Mykhailo Podoliak also criticized the academy for not including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during the program. For the second year in a row, the Academy has reportedly refused Zelensky’s request to speak, citing that the event is not political.

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However, Hristo Grozev, a journalist of the Bellingcat investigative group, filmed in the documentary, countered the criticism on Twitter.

He added that he was “glad” that Rohrer “used his short time on the world’s biggest stage to openly condemn Putin’s barbaric attack on Ukraine.”

Alexei Navalny is widely respected for his willingness to risk his life to promote democracy in Russia, but many Ukrainians remain wary of the Russian opposition leader. The main problem, says Maria Popova, an associate professor at McGill University who studies political developments in Ukraine, is that Navalny “condemned the war, but not Russian imperialism.”

According to Popova, the issues that Navalny has focused on, including the fight against autocracy and corruption in Russia, are not immediately relevant to Ukrainians. Navalny, meanwhile, has been slow to support Ukraine’s territorial integrity and has a “long history of nationalism and xenophobia.” Navalny also did not approve Ukraine’s membership in NATO, Popova noted. “It means to the Ukrainians that they are not fully their allies,” he says. “They’re kind of an enemy of an enemy, but not an ally.”

Another point of contention is Navalny’s previous stance on the Crimean territory, which Russia invaded and occupied in 2014. For example, in a 2014 interview, Navalny said that Crimea should “remain part of Russia,” while in a blog post the same year: he criticized the transfer of Crimea to Ukraine in 1954 for happening in the first place. Back in January, Russian journalist and investigative department head of Navalny’s anti-corruption fund (FBK), Maria Pevchikh, refused to comment on the Crimea issue.

In February, Navalny’s team appeared to reinforce its support for Ukraine in a blog post about the war, which commented that the territory of Ukraine was created in 1991, long after the annexation of Crimea. However, this shift does not seem to have convinced some Ukrainians. After the victory of Navalny’s film, the mayor of Lviv, Andrey Sadov, cited a comment Navalny made in 2015 rejecting a proposal to return Crimea to Ukraine, in which Navalny said: back?”

write Sadovi said on Twitter: “Navalny is a sandwich that is packed in a lunch box and taken around the world as an example of the fact that there is still an opposition in Russia. They discuss its recipe, stale bread, spoiled cheese and the special smell of Russian propaganda, which now smells like an Oscar statuette.’

According to Popova, Navalny’s latest statements are unlikely to be enough for many Ukrainians, especially in the conditions of war with his compatriots. “It’s a matter of trust,” says Popova. “His views may have evolved, but unfortunately, Ukrainians, or anyone really, cannot know whether this evolution is genuine or strategic, because he currently has to say the right things to get Western support to fight Putin. regime”.

Others also noted Navalny’s history of racist and xenophobic comments, including using a ethnic slander against Ukrainians and derogatory statements about many peoples, including Georgians, after the Russian-Georgian war of 2008. Journalist Ostap Yarish noted that at that time Nalvalni wrote a blog post, calling Georgians “rodents”. saying that he would like to send a missile at the Georgian military. and comparing the then prime minister of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, to Hitler.

“Being against Putin does not negate Navalny’s imperialist and chauvinistic views”. on Twitter Yarish: “Is Navalny anti-Putin?” Yes! Was he wrongfully imprisoned? [the] The Kremlin for this. Absolutely. Is he anti-war? He says so.

“But does he reject the colonialist approach and the idea of ​​Russian supremacy/superiority over other nations?” Definitely not. And this should be remembered.”

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