Biographical Poetry posted February 25, 2024

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First Lady of the Opposition

Yulia Navalnaya

by Debbie D'Arcy

The author has placed a warning on this post for language.
She vowed she'd never let the bastard see this couple cry
and she would squarely blame him were her husband then to die;
and now her message to the world - defeat is not a choice -
we need to galvanise our strength, united with one voice.
She married him at twenty four, devoted to his cause,
opposing Putin's Stalin stance and winning wide applause.
Though mostly in the shadows, her support inspired with charm,
a thorn in the dictator's side, integrity spelt harm.
So poisoned acts were Putin's call, her husband had to go
and deadly agent, Novichok, was aimed to let them know
but perseverance proved once more her wisdom as a wife
by moving him to Germany, she doubtless saved his life.
Determined in her loyalty, she kept the flame alight;
while he endured three years in hell, she carried on their fight.
Protesting that he be released, her courage raged and soared
and, unafraid,* she battled 'gainst a regime she abhorred.
And all the while, she knew first-hand the torture he defied,
though split apart, she gave him hope that she was at his side.
And when the dreaded news was out that he had passed away,
she held back tears and stunned with speech of fearlessness that day.
Though fate dictates, heroic words spell urgency within,
as Russian votes next month will see corruption rigged to win.
And, on her path so paved in pain for all the world to see,
this Lady's* fist is ever strong to set her homeland free.



Image: courtesy of Google free pics. Information source: Wikipedia and other internet biographies and reports.

Born Yulia Borisovna Abrosimova on 24 July 1976 in Moscow, Soviet Union.The daughter of notable scientist, Boris Ambrosimov, she graduated from the prestigious Plekhanov Russian University of Economics as well as working in banking.

Stanza 1: " ..we need more. To gather all together in one strong fist and hit this crazed regime with it - Putin, his friends, bandits in uniform, thieves and murderers who crippled our country. I urge you to stand next to me. I ask you to share the rage with me. Rage, anger, hatred towards those who dared to kill our future." (said in a 9 minute video that has since gathered around five million views).

Stanza 2: She and Navalny met on holiday in Turkey and were married 2 years later in 1980. They went on to have two children, daughter, Daria, and son, Zakhar. They were always open about their love for each other, putting their marriage and family life on public display (in contrast to Putin).

As her husband's star rose, she was always at his side. She spoke forcefully outside courtrooms where he was on trial, attended protests and was, herself, detained on several occasions. She also acted as an intermediary with the staff of his Anti-Corruption Foundation, when her husband was detained without internet (2014). She also helped him craft his image, was involved in all political decisions and was always part of his cause. Navalny relied on her advice.

Stanza 3: Following the Novichok attack of 2020, she demanded that her husband be sent to Germany for treatment and even turned directly to Putin to intervene. Navalny later said: "Yulia, you saved me." She was also named by the audience of a Russian independent newspaper as its 2020 Hero of the Year.

Stanza 4: When she returned to Russia with her husband in 2021, she made no secret of blaming the authorities for her husband's arrest, citing their fear of him as their motivation. She wrote on Instagram that the year of '37 (the Great Purge or Great Terror) had come (when Stalin consolidated his power over the Communist Party of the Soviet Union by imprisoning or executing his rivals).
*2021 "Alexei said he is not afraid" "-and I'm not afraid either. I urge you all not to be afraid."

Stanza 5: On the same day as her husband's death was announced (16 February 2024) she made a speech at the Munich Security Conference in which she declared that she would carry on Navalny's work promoting democratic change in Russia. She also made clear her belief that Putin was the killer and that her husband's investigative team would get to the roots of the crime and expose all those responsible. The Russian authorities were still denying her access to the body, a move intended, she said, to cover up evidence of a crime.

Stanza 6: *In 2021, a Russian tabloid labeled her the First Lady of the opposition, a reflection of Navalny's rising fame and Yulia's glamour and style. In reality she was always more; Navalny's closest friend and advisor.

Putin has announced that he will run for president in the 2024 election next month. There is little question about the outcome. Having ensured that his rivals, Navalny (dead) and Ilya Yashin (imprisoned) are out of the running and, with elections characteristically marred by widespread fraud, he is set up for his fifth term in office and eligible to seek two more six year terms, which could potentially keep him in power until 2036. This would mean that his tenure would surpass even that of Joseph Stalin, making Putin the longest serving Moscow leader since the Russian Empire.

Continuing Navalny's battle, however, is fraught with difficulty and danger as Moscow will inevitably be watching Yulia's every move. If she attempts to lead the opposition from within Russia, this is almost certainly going to mean she goes the same way as Navalny; while doing so from abroad, she would be cast by the Putin regime as a foreign puppet, controlled by Western intelligence. According to Tatiana Stanowaya, founder of the RPolitik analysis firm, Yulia's statement was "an unambiguous bid for an independent political role."

I repeat Dolly's words: Imagine our world had Navalny and Yulia not been barred from assuming their rightful place as president and first lady of Russia with their unwavering objective to bring democracy and freedom to their country.

Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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© Copyright 2024. Debbie D'Arcy All rights reserved.
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