The wife of politician Alexei Navalny, Yulia, shortly after the victory of the documentary “Navalny” at the Oscars ceremony, gave an interview to the German publication Der Spiegel (it was published on German And English LANGUAGES). In it, she talked about her impressions of the ceremony, what her current life is about and why she does not plan a political career. Here is a recap of the key statements from that interview.
By winning the Oscars
At first, I didn’t feel anything. I heard the title of the documentary, which is also my last name. I got up. I knew that now I had to go on stage, we had agreed with the team in advance.
Two days later, I can say: I’m very happy for the team, for Alexei. It’s a well-deserved victory because it’s a very good documentary. I watched it several times and each time I loved it. When I look at it, it seems to me that I am talking to Alexei.
It’s a very strange feeling to participate in the ceremony while Alexei is in prison. On the other hand, it probably only happens once in a lifetime. You are surrounded by many famous people that you have only seen in movies. They come and say words of encouragement and support. I am of course very grateful to them.
About political career
I don’t think that’s what I want to play. Of course, I read many articles about it, but from what I understand, to participate in elections and become a politician, you have to want to do it. It doesn’t make much sense to think of it in terms of replacement – my husband goes to jail and I replace him.
I admire what she does. But like I said, you have to be prepared to be a politician to do that. And I made a different choice: my husband is the leader of the opposition, he is in prison, I support him and draw attention to his situation.
On Navalny’s condition
Of course, after being poisoned, his health is not in order. He tells me all the time that he’s fine, but I know I’m the last person he would tell if something was wrong. So when he publicly says he’s not well, I know he feels really bad. For example, in April 2021. At that time, I felt the situation was critical.
He spends most of his time in solitary confinement without adequate access to medical care. In such conditions, when you have health problems, they only get worse. In the morning, he has problems with his arms, one of his legs goes numb and he has problems with his back. He is in constant danger because he is in the hands of those who tried to kill him. This worries me a lot.
About the ban on meeting her husband
The last time I saw my husband was a year and a month ago. Since then, we have spoken on the phone two or three times. The last was in March of last year. Last summer he was transferred to a strict regime colony – it is forbidden to call from there.
By law, he can see me or close relatives every six months, but when the time came he was sent to ShIZO. This made the meeting impossible. In January, he was transferred to a cell-like room, where he is constantly alone – and he is prohibited from visiting.
About your current life
My life is letters, letters letters. I try to write to Alexey every day, although I know that the mail is censored. I write about everything: the weather, parenting, books, TV shows. I have not yet been able to write to him my impressions of the Oscars ceremony.
I try to live a normal life. But now, of course, there is still a lot to do. I’m in constant contact with Alexei’s lawyers. I am a board member of the International Anti-Corruption Foundation. And, of course, I try to take care of the children as usual.
At the exit of Navalny
Alexei has already been sentenced to nine years. Very soon, he will face a new trial, in which he faces up to 35 years in prison. But in fact, these numbers mean nothing, because they have nothing to do with the law. We all understand that it is Vladimir Putin who keeps Alexei in prison, and as long as he remains in power, it is hard to imagine that Alexei will be freed.
I hope not – I believe that soon I will see Alexei free soon. Nothing is impossible when you are in love. I fell in love with Alexei from the first days of our meeting. Since then, nothing has changed in my feelings.