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‘Alexei would want to tell Russia not to give up fighting’

US Producer Odessa Rae reflects on the passing of her friend, Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, who unexpectedly died last Friday.
She acknowledged the inherent risks in his return to Russia but emphasized that Navalny saw staying abroad as a death to his cause. According to Rae, Navalny was adamant in his mission to reform Russia and deemed living in exile as a relinquishment of his influence.

Despite the looming threat from President Putin, Navalny preferred to face the challenges within Russia rather than remain in Germany. His conviction was highlighted by his stance against the war in Ukraine and his advocacy for Ukrainian sovereignty, which resulted in repeated solitary confinements.

Rae, who spent substantial time with Navalny during the filming of the documentary "Navalny" in Germany, noted his unwavering optimism, humor, and dedication to understanding various topics, from North American politics to popular culture.

Navalny's life work through his foundation aimed to challenge Putin's authoritarian rule. Rae is certain that Navalny would encourage Russians to continue fighting for their future, avoiding passive resignation and instead standing strong for their beliefs. She hopes Navalny's legacy will inspire continued action and resistance.
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