Putin Critic Writes Op-Ed From Jail, Says 'Russia Will Be Free'

AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

Leading Vladimir Putin critic and Washington Post contributing columnist Vladimir Kara-Murza was arrested by the Kremlin Monday, yet still managed to pen an op-ed for the Washington Post from jail. The Post does not say how he was able to get it past what we can assume must have been strict security; they only say he sent the column through his lawyers.


Kara-Murza writes that if you were to believe there were no war protestors in Russia, you’d be wrong. There are in fact many protesters and activists in the jail right alongside him:

When you are told that no one protests against the war in Russia, don’t believe it. Hundreds of people who took part in such protests are imprisoned in police stations and special detention facilities. The police grab them immediately and take them away. And there are no more media outlets in Russia that can talk about it.

Kara-Murza was arrested by five or six police officers from the Second Special Regiment of Moscow’s Main Internal Affairs Directorate (is it just me, or do they sound particularly unfriendly?) mere hours after he appeared in a CNN interview.

In the interview, he lambasted Russia’s war on Ukraine, calling the Putin regime “murderers.”


In the new WaPo piece, Kara-Murza also claims his detention was clearly political, and that the police didn’t even pretend to hide it. (Why would they? They don’t have to answer to anyone but Vlad.)

Everyone who participated in the process, including Judge Diana Mishchenko and the Interior Ministry officers who brought me to the court, understood that the only reason for my arrest was my political and, above all, antiwar position.


He has been harassed for years by the Kremlin, and even claims to have been poisoned twice. (Putin is known for his love of poison, used against opposition leader Alexei Navalny and others.)

Kara-Murza’s wife Evgenia has demanded his release, according to the Washington Examiner.

“Twice have the Russian authorities tried to kill my husband for advocating for sanctions against thieves and murderers. Now they want to throw him in prison for calling their bloody war a WAR. I demand my husband’s immediate release!”

Russia, and its current dictator Vladimir Putin, has proven over and over that they are murderous, brutal and treacherous.  But we already knew that.

Kara-Murza minced no words. “Orwell lives on,” he writes. “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”  Surprisingly, he ends on a hopeful note. His final line reads, “Russia will be free. I’ve never been so sure of it as I am today.”

Given current events, it seems unlikely that Russia will be “free” in the near future, if ever. But we can appreciate his optimism and courage, and pray that he is somehow right.


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