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Russia

Putin's Nemesis Speaks: The Alexei Navalny Interview

The anti-corruption activist, under house arrest in Moscow, says that Putin is pursuing war in Ukraine to consolidate his power and fulfill his ambition to be Russia's "president for life."

A pro-government march in Moscow
A pro-government march in Moscow
Benoît Vitkine

Alexei Navalny, a lawyer and blogger in the fight against corruption, is Russian President Vladimir Putin's principal opponent. On Dec. 30, 2014, a Moscow court sentenced him to a three-and-a-half-year suspended prison sentence on charges of swindling the French company Yves Rocher. His brother Oleg received the same sentence, only it was not suspended, and he is now in jail. While he appeals, Navalny is under house arrest, a measure he consistently violates. On Jan. 15, he granted his first interview since the verdict, by phone, to a foreign media.

LE MONDE: What is your current situation?
ALEXEI NAVALNY: I’m in a rather strange situation, under house arrest but not really. The arrest is illegal, and I too have acted illegally by cutting my electronic bracelet. Policemen and plain clothes officers follow and watch me on a permanent basis, but I can leave my home. I’ve been living this kind of situation, of more or less intense police persecution, for three years now. This time it’s more difficult because my brother is in prison. But I’ve gotten used to it.

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Society

End Of Roe v. Wade, The World Is Watching

As the Supreme Court decides to overturn the 1973 decision that guaranteed abortion rights, many fear an imminent threat to abortion rights in the U.S. But in other countries, the global fight for sexual and reproductive rights is going in different directions.

"Don't abort my right" At 2019 pro-choice march In Toulouse, France.

Alain Pitton/NurPhoto via ZUMA
Hannah Steinkopf-Frank and Sophia Constantino

PARIS — Nearly 50 years after it ensured the right to abortion to Americans, the United States Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade case, meaning that millions of women in the U.S. may lose their constitutional right to abortion.

The groundbreaking decision is likely to set off a range of restrictions on abortion access in multiple states in the U.S., half of which are expected to implement new bans on the procedure. Thirteen have already passed "trigger laws" that will automatically make abortion illegal.

U.S. President Joe Biden called the ruling "a tragic error" and urged individual states to enact laws to allow the procedure.

In a country divided on such a polarizing topic, the decision is likely to cause major shifts in American law and undoubtedly spark outrage among the country’s pro-choice groups. Yet the impact of such a momentous shift, like others in the United States, is also likely to reverberate around the world — and perhaps, eventually, back again in the 50 States.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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