The history of suspected poisonings and crackdowns on Alexey Navalny by Putin | Full Episode of  – Video

The history of suspected poisonings and crackdowns on Alexey Navalny by Putin | Full Episode of – Video

The video titled “Alexey Navalny and Putin’s history of suspected poisonings and crackdowns” on 60 Minutes Full Episodes delves into the tumultuous relationship between Russian President Vladimir Putin and opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Navalny, a prominent figure in the fight for freedom and democracy in Russia, has been a thorn in Putin’s side for years, exposing corruption and advocating for political change.

The video explores Navalny’s near-death experience after being poisoned with Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent, on a flight to Moscow from Siberia. Despite the Russian government’s denial of involvement, Navalny is steadfast in his belief that Putin is behind the poisoning, citing a lack of investigation and a pattern of crackdowns on political dissent.

Navalny’s resilience and determination in the face of adversity are highlighted, as he continues to speak out against Putin’s regime, even after surviving the deadly attack. The video sheds light on the dangerous game of politics in Russia, where opposition leaders like Navalny face constant threats and intimidation for their beliefs.

Watch the video by 60 Minutes

Video Transcript

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s political opposition has taken to the streets once again in cities across the country they were ignited by the imprisonment of opposition leader Alexi naali who was said to be near death in the prison infirmary part the result of a 24-day hunger strike which he ended

Friday last month President Biden announced new sanctions against Russia for incarcerating navali who has become an international symbol of freedom and an increasingly autocratic country navali was taken into custody as he returned to Russia in January after treatment in Germany for a near fatal poisoning we spoke last fall in Berlin

Lynn as he recovered and as we reported then he told us he was aboard a flight from Siberia to Moscow when he began to feel very sick I said to the flight attendant and I kind of shocked him with my statement well I was poisoned and I’m going to die

And I immediately lay down under his feet Alexi naal was on a flight to Moscow from Siberia where he’d been campaigning against Putin’s party in a local election when he collapsed with no pain but knowing he was dying actually every cell of your body just telling you that’s bu

We are done one of the other passengers turned on his phone and captured naali moaning in anguish the pilot made an emergency landing in ssk where Medics thinking Naval must be a drug addict administered the usual treatment for an overdose and rushed him to a local hospital where

They said he wasn’t poisoned but wouldn’t let him leave for days well it was a big fight and they thought that after 48 Hours these uh these poison would be untraceable and they just keep me there until this 48 hours will be gone naali is under constant surveillance his wife Julia says

Government agents were at the hospital controlling access to her husband and she believes calling the shots at the time naali was in a coma unaware that his wife Julia was waging a public campaign to encourage Western diplomatic pressure and did you write a letter to

Putin yeah I did Dear Mr Putin free my husband I wrote like I insist that he should do it I demand you free my husband yeah it was a online campaign let him out and Putin thought it would be safe for him uh just let me out after

48 hours so after 48 Hours the Russian government allowed him to be flown by air ambulance to a hospital in Berlin known for its experience with victims of poison attacks and I gather they suspected poison right away uh yes of course meanwhile his team in Siberia searched his hotel room collecting

Things navali may have touched like this water bottle which the doctors in Berlin sent along with a blood sample to a German military lab to see exactly what the poison was and the answer was novachuk they discovered novich chuk this nerve agent uh in my blood in

Inside of body on my body and all this bottle from the hotel so uh that’s why we now we know that I was poison in the hotel because I uh well it’s again it’s just a pure speculation because no no one knows what what what happened

Exactly but I think that when I was uh maybe put some clothes with this um with this poison on me I touch it with the hand and then I sip from the bottle so this Nerf agent was not inside of a bottle but on the bottle Nova is a

Highly toxic nerve agent said to be 10 times more potent than sarin gas labs in France and Sweden corroborated the finding there’s no doubt it was military grade Nova chuk it’s maybe it’s the most toxic uh agents invented by the humans so it’s new type of novichok which prove

That unfortunately Putin have a developing new program of these chemical weapon which is forbidden the Russians have said that they destroyed all these chemical weapons that’s why actually they deny everything because it means that they still have this naich so it means they they not just violating with

The keeping it they are uh continue to improve it and there’s no doubt that Russia is the only place that where that could have come from this is absolutely correct it’s a ban substance it’s a band substance I think for Putin uh why he’s using this chemical weapon to do do both

Kill me and you know terrify others it’s something really scary with the people just drop de with out there are no gun there are no shots and in a couple of hours you will be dead and without any traces on your body it’s something terrifying and Putin is enjoying it you

Have said you think that Mr Putin’s responsible I don’t think I’m sure that he’s responsible Putin’s spokesman Dimitri pesov says the charge is completely baseless and unacceptable but Angela Merkel of Germany and Emanuel macron of France have pers ued the European Union to impose sanctions over this well all these leaders have signed

On except Donald Trump yes I I have noticed it is it important to you that he condemn this action so um I think it’s extremely important uh that everyone of course including and maybe in the first row president of United States to be very against using chemical weapon in the 21

Century but why would Putin want to poison Alex naali when we first met navali 3 years ago he was running against Putin for president he had made a name for himself by getting his hands on incriminating internal financial documents related to highlevel officials and posting them on a Blog did these

Documents that you got prove corruption oh absolutely I work as a whistleblower and I’m not afraid to uh announced the names he says he found that the kremlin’s Inner Circle was accumulating vast amounts of wealth and published pictures of multiple homes and Yachts he moved on to airing documentaries on

YouTube with video of the officials lavish lifestyle and it’s uh it’s something very special about Mr Putin that he’s crazy about money personal money about his family being rich his friends like all his the people who was served with him with the in the KGB all of them they are billionaires that’s why

Fighting corruption means for him that he’s fighting me you know I’m smiling because here you are you have survived the most potent nerve agent there is and you are as fiery and worked up about your about Putin and what’s going on in this country as you were when I met you

A couple of years ago well I’m glad I’m glad that I survived and his blog inflamed so much outrage in 2017 that tens of thousands of Russians took to the streets against Putin when navali called for a second round of protests 3 months later he was arrested before he

Even left his apartment building he’s been jailed so many times he’s lost count he’s been beaten had green dye with acid splashed in his face and now he can add poison to his resume and blame President Putin how can you say that why wouldn’t it be one of the

Oligarchs whom you’ve embarrassed by as you say exposing their corruption even for oligarch it’s impossible to get this n it’s not something you can buy in the store even if you have a millions of billions of dollars maybe more important you cannot use it you will kill yourself

And everyone around uh because it’s very difficult to you know contain it yes and then this huge cover up operation there is no criminal investigation so far if if Putin is not responsible why there is no investigation and uh look what they doing right now like Putin with the

Conversation with the French President macron he said well naal poisoned himself seriously Mr Putin told the president of France that you poisoned yourself yes it was just to you know annoy him Putin is contending with rounds of protests in the Far Eastern part of the country with people taking

To the streets for the past three months naali thinks the attempt on his life is connected despite he controlling police judges courts media and everything still he’s uh like he understand that he’s surrounded by protest and it’s increasing so that’s why his they decided to you know EX for Extreme Measures

This is what he looked like just a month ago soon after his doctors brought him out of an induced coma rail thin with a sickly palar this photo was taken the first day he saw his children after being taken off a ventilator so you were

In a coma and then you woke up and what happened after this coma I just jumped to the long period of kind of crazy hallucinations and several you know steps of uh realizing where I am who I am and uh I could not speak and I could

Not write how has this affected your family well it was it was a difficult situation but they stand it and including your children including children your son is 12 and your daughter is in college right those are tough ages to realize that your father came close to being assassinated did

They say to you pop dad you have to stop absolutely not no um absolutely not my I I’m very lucky man because I have all support from my family you’d almost have to at this point yeah naali his wife his bodyguard and I went out for a walk in

Front of the brandenberg gate in Berlin and a failan of police showed up so you you certainly travel with a lot of protection yeah I have a lot of security he’s under the protection of the German government because there’s concern he could be the target of another poisoning

And yet he said he’s determined to return to Moscow in a couple of months as soon as he’s 100% and resume his work where he left off campaigning against Vladimir Putin you know you used to be known as the man who had no fear but what about your family do you ever think

That you were putting putting them in danger that is the toughest part yes I don’t feel any fear but children what is kind of really horrible thought if they will try to use this naich somewhere around my apartment where my children is coming like you know this door or

Something but everyone can touch it but anyway we should fight these people because they will never stop they will poison someone else they will poison more people well how do you feel now are you back totally back you seem to be I still need some time to recover and I’m

Working on it but you do go to rehab do you go every day yes to learn from the scratch how to how to move how to do some things they’re interesting that um I feel kind of a bit of wooden or a tetin man like from The Wizard of Oz

Because the body lost all flexibility at all interesting how it’s work I have no idea it’s now it’s um difficult movies for me for example pick something from the ground what about the psychological effect of having knowing that somebody tried to kill you came that close you

Know uh I think it’s a it’s a good thing it’s very useful for politician maybe facing that once because it’s changed you a bit so maybe ironically I became kind of more human after these facing deaths the Biden administration’s National Security advisor Jake Sullivan on CNN last Sunday

Warn the Kremlin of consequences if Alexi naali dies in custody A lot’s been said about Russia meddling in our 2016 presidential campaign but the Russians are already buzzing about their presidential election next march because unexpectedly Vladimir Putin has a genuine Challenger a handsome 41-year-old lawyer Alexi naali who has

Chosen one of the most dangerous occupations in the world running against the man who controls the Kremlin the election process in Russia is tightly managed by the government but naali has been drawing big crowds to his protests and rallies all over the country where he laces into Putin with no holes

Barred Putin is a thief and the head of the entire corrupt system this is one Brave man not only because he has taken on the all powerful Vladimir Putin headon but because he’s been holding rallies many of them without official permits which has had it consequences one arrest after

Another during my campaign I spent every fifth day in the jail so now I’m kind of you know used to it nothing new for me it’s it’s became a routine of my life you got out of prison just a couple of days ago right you held a rally right

Away and you’re you’re goting them you’re begging them to arrest you again these are people who are trying to steal my country and I’m strongly disagree with it I’m not going to be you know a kind of speechless person right now I’m not going to keep silent you’re not

Allowed to run I’m not allowed to run and they put enormous pressure of our on our headquarter and on our volunteers my uh chief of campaign get out of jail just yesterday so uh all these uh facts show us that he’s really afraid not of me but this uh people who are standing

Behind me we have now 170,000 volunteers Mr Putin remains highly popular it’s all but a foregone conclusion that he’ll be reelected and yet the Kremlin is doing everything it can to make it difficult for navali to gain traction for instance the government says he can’t be on the

Ballot because he was found guilty of embezzlement and what naali insists was a trumped up charge and he’s barred from National Television but he’s managed to get around that by reaching an Ever widening audience on social media channels and YouTube where he has millions of followers and says he’s

Raised almost $4 million from ordinary Russians what do you think the biggest issue is for most people here in Maro poverty and in the quality huge in Russia even compared to the United States the European country no opportunities at all no future for the people Putin is stealing their future

And Mr Putin puts his relatives his closest friends his colleagues from the KGB and the chiefs of this company and that’s why they controlling the whole economy naali began his public life 10 years ago in a shrewd way he bought small shares of state-owned companies as

A shareholder he was able to get his hands on internal financial documents investigated evidence of misconduct and posted it all on a Blog did these documents that you got prove corruption oh absolutely I work as a whistleblower and I’m not afraid to uh announced the names he says he found that the

Kremlin’s Inner Circle was accumulating vast amounts of wealth and published pictures of multiple homes and Yachts he moved on to airing documentaries on on YouTube with video of the official’s lavish lifestyle how did you get the footage now we have our air force uh we we just using drones uh you sent drones

Up yes we do a lot of work with the drones because from for us it’s a best way to show this way of life when you publish this footage of the Yards of these palaces of this real estate and you uh you and show documents look this

Guy have a relatively modest salary but look at this house his most watched documentary with over 25 million views focused on prime minister Dimitri Medvedev and his Estates Naval says all five of them the video inflamed so much outrage that in March tens of thousands of Russians took to the

Streets when naali called for a second round of protest 3 months later he was arrested before he even left his apartment building but his supporters came out in droves all across the country and like naali close to 1700 were arrested these were the first protest of

This magnitude in Russia in 6 years back then in 2011 roughly 60,000 went to the streets in a burst of anti-putin descent that’s when navali debuted in Moscow as an opposition leader as we were watching in the United States I think there was the impression that public opinion was going to force change

Here it looked that way on television but that is not what happened Mr Putin realized that his it’s not affordable for his system to give people more democracy that’s why in the uh 2012 he completely changed his strategy and uh start to arrest people start start to

Fabricate criminal cases look and the uh start of the 2011 I was a respectful lawyer at the end of the 2012 I was several time convict but now he’s seen as the last man standing since most of the other opposition leaders either fled the country or were found dead under mysterious

Circumstances why are you still alive uh this is a favorite qu question of my wife I don’t know maybe they missed uh the good timing for it when I was less famous do you feel that your visibility with so many people knowing who you are um that that’s protecting you well

Actually I’m trying not to uh thinking about it uh a lot because if you start to think uh what kind of risk I have you cannot do anything Nani’s platform includes more spending on education and health restoring a free press and taxing the oligarchs in the west he’s assumed to be

A Russian liberal but there was a time when he marched with nationalists some of them fascists something he’s tried to downplay lately you have ATT tended nationalist what we would call right-wing rallies uh I believe in support of ethnic Purity Russian ethnic Purity have you supported that uh of course not I uh

Was part of these rallies because I support the freedom of rallies because I support freedom for meetings oh they’re supporters of yours they’re part your following a lot of them supports me and they recognize me as a leader when he was growing up he came from a committed

Communist family in a small town south of Moscow well what was your childhood like I’m 41 years old it means that actually I’m a guy from the Soviet Union I was a young Pioneer I had my red tie my father was a military and I was very

Proud that my father is guarding Mother Russia from EV Americans with their bombs and missiles actually my biggest memory that I’m as a child standing in line standing in line maybe some 4 hours to just buy milk he was close to his brother OLG 7 years younger so it was

Painful for him when 3 years ago the government to get him to stop his activism he believes convicted him and OLG of embezzlement a ruling the European Court of Human Rights called arbitrary and unfair to make matters worse he got a suspended sentence but Oleg is still

Behind bars he’s still in prison and he spent two years in the solitary confinement which is actually in Russian condition is torturing and you think he’s in jail to get you to get you to stop yes absolutely but he hasn’t stopped even though he’s been physically attacked while campaigning in Siberia he

Was splashed in the face with green dye it was painful but I could uh it hurt it it hurt but he handled it with humor saying he was Shrek his followers dyed their own faces green and posted photos to Instagram and Twitter in solidarity then he was splashed

Again second time was much more painful there was acid as I understand it my U doctor in the hospital said well Alexi you should be prepared that you will be blind for one eye and so I even start to think about kind of you know I would be

Such kind of pirate with a with a patch with a patch the Kremlin did allow him to travel to Spain for specialized surgery but immediately after the treatment he returned to Moscow and went right out campaigning again lately he’s been concentrating on rural areas holding rallies far from the

Big cities in places like Siberia and the urals I’m traveling every weekend to spend Friday Saturday and Sunday in the regions to have this Ries on our last day there we went with him to the midsized industrial city of Ivanova 4 hours outside Moscow starting with a

Train ride Mr Putin never ever mentioned your name May criticize you but never your name what do you make of that I have no idea why they doing it maybe it’s a kind of something uh superstitious for them like you know you you cannot name the animal because if

You name it in the night it will come and eat you or something like this and they have a lot of nicknames in youis for me like this gentleman this guy this convict and this this convict uh but uh they are thinking about me and believe

Me they are afraid of me afraid of us so it’s that is much more important for us than mentioning my name it was snowing and dark out when we got to a wooded lot on the edge of town where a big crowd of mostly young Russians was waiting no one

Thinks he has much of a chance of beating Putin in the election but still Putin fears him navali says because of his ability to draw crowds at rallies and into the streets he perseveres knowing what he’s doing is dangerous his supporters have been roughed up by police and pro Kremlin

Activist who naali calls thugs is it in your mind worth your life because there is a big Target on you no question uh I’m trying to not to think about it because look I think I’m ready to sacrifice everything for my job and for the people

Who surrounding me I’m not let them down and I’m trying to not to reflect about it all the time questions continue to surround the role Russia may have played in president Trump’s election last fall and about the president’s professed admiration for Vladimir Putin’s skills as a strong leader what the president doesn’t talk

About is the unfortunate fate that stalks some of Putin’s most prominent critics they have been victims of Unsolved shootings suspicious suicides and poisonings tonight the story of one of them Vladimir caram murza was an opposition activist on the front lines protesting Putin’s policies organizing demonstrations and Town Hall meetings he

Knew he was on a Dangerous Mission when we met him last year he told us that one day in May 2015 he learned just how dangerous I was in a work meeting uh with my colleagues in Moscow uh when I suddenly started to feel uh really sick

And I went within about 20 minutes from feeling completely normal to feeling like a very sick man and I don’t remember anything for the next month you were out for a month I was in a coma for a week and I don’t remember anything for a month and had basically a Cascade of

All my major life organs failing one after another just switching off uh you know the lungs the heart the kidneys he was shuttled from hospital hospital to hospital in Moscow for 2 days as doctors frantically tried to figure out what was wrong with him I was at one point

Connected I think to eight uh different artificial life support machines and doctors told my wife that it’s only going to be about 5% chance uh that I’ll survive but he beat the odds when we spoke with him last year he’d been recovering for a year but he was still

Walking with a limp from nerve damage so what happened well it was some kind of a very strong toxin we don’t know what it was because you know with these things as as people who know more about this and I do explain to me you basically have to know exactly what you’re testing

For in order to find it so they never found the exact compound they never did it wasn’t until the fourth day and after he’d been on a dialysis machine that blood was drawn and sent to a toxicology lab in France it found heavy metals in his blood but no specific toxin still

Caram murza maintains that he was poisoned I have absolutely no doubt that this was uh uh deliberate poisoning that it was intended to kill CU as I mentioned already my the doctors told my wife that it’s about a 5% chance of survival and when it’s that kind of

Percentage it’s not to scare it’s to kill can you be sure that what happened to you was directed by Mr Putin well of that I have no idea I don’t know the precise circumstances I don’t know the who or the how um but I do know why

Vladim Putin in recent years quite a few of Putin’s enemies have perished by swallowing things they shouldn’t have in 2006 Russian spy turned Kremlin critic Alexander laneno drank tea laced with polonium 210 two years earlier the Ukrainian politician Victor Yenko had somehow ingested dioxin he survived but was

Disfigured but what would the motive be in the case of the critic Vladimir kerza Cambridge educated he was for for years A Washington based reporter for a Russian TV station so he was well-connected and had perfect English which he used to incessantly criticize the regime on the international stage a

Government that is based on genuine support does not need to jail its opponents as if his outspokenness wasn’t enough to anger the Kremlin he made matters worse for himself when he joined forces with this man it’s death if you cross the Putin regime Bill Brown was for years the largest foreign investor

In Russia and Putin’s Champion but he turned into a dogged adversary when his Russian tax attorney Sergey magnitsky blew the whistle on alleged large-scale theft by government officials we discovered massive Corruption of the Putin regime Sergey exposed it testified against the officials involved he was subsequently arrested put in pre-trial

Detention tortured for 358 days and killed killed at the age of 37 Browder was so outraged he joined with Vladimir Karam murza to Lobby the US Congress for a law targeting those responsible for that death and other human rights violations they succeeded the magnitsky Act passed in 2012 it’s the first law

That sanctions individual Russians 44 so far the magnitsky ACT is designed to sanction to freeze the assets and and ban the Visas um for people who commit these types of crimes in Russia so they can’t get to their money which may be stash in the United States and so

Vladimir Putin is extremely angry that the magnitsky Act was going to be passed he was even angrier when it got passed and he was even angrier when people started getting added names started getting add added to the magnitsky list one reason Vladimir Karam murza is convinced he was targeted is because six

People connected to the magnitsky case as he was have ended up dead one of them was Boris nemov a leader of Russia’s opposition and carara M’s partner in lobbying for the magnitsky ACT on the 27th of February uh 2015 uh he was killed by five bullets in the back as he

Was walking home as he always did out in the open without bodyguards this was an assassination in some of the deaths proving there was Foul Play has been a challenge take the case of this Russian Banker who came forward with incriminating documents related to the magnitsky case Alexander perichi was a

Whistleblower at the age of 44 he went jogging outside his home in Su outside of London and dropped dead the police deemed it a unsuspicious natural death well they did look for poison they just couldn’t find any they did a very first round toxicology screen they they they

Didn’t find anything on the first run through detecting poison can be extremely difficult and there’s a reason this cold war CIA memo reveals that the Soviets ran a laboratory for poisons in a large and super secret installation known as the chamber to test undetectable compounds in the case of

The banker in London the coroner wasn’t willing to give up he ordered more tests and 3 years later it was revealed in court that an exotic toxin was found with the help of an authority on flowers of small sample of his stomach contents was sent to a um botanical garden

Outside of London and one of the scientists found a compound called galamian Elegance which is a Chinese herb they call it the Heartbreak grass and it causes a person to die unexpectedly without explanation still there’s no direct evidence of a Kremlin connection but the list of those who’ve

Come to die unexpectedly after running a file of Mr Putin is long political opponents and human rights lawyers have been shot overly inquisitive reporters have perished in mysterious plane crashes or by car bombs by poison or gunfire journalist Anna poovaya was poisoned and shot then there are enemies

Who kill themselves one by hanging one by stabbing himself to death with two knives and one by tying himself to a chair and jumping into a swimming pool some of Putin’s opponents are in prison others forced out of the country like Mel cordovi probably Putin’s most famous

Living critic are you afraid for your own life for a period of over 10 years Vladimir Putin had ample opportunity to make a decision about putting an end to my life in a very easy way just by snapping his fingers and today it’s a little bit more difficult kovski was

Once the richest man in Russia until he took to opposing Putin he was put on trial his Oil Company confiscated and then thrown in prison for 10 years home is now London where he funds a Russian pro-democracy movement and this is where the plot thickens because one of his

Senior organizers on the ground in Russia is none other than Vladimir caram murza there are people who say that what’s happened to caram murza is a message to you a message to you to back off you know for 10 years I was receiving lots of messages from our

Authorities of various sorts and some of these messages were rather unpleasant concerning my physical well-being but the authori saw I ignored these messages I would like to believe that they have not forgotten that in 2015 once Vladimir kerza was stabilized he was flown to Washington DC to continue treatment near

His wife yvenia and their three children who live in the US for their safety but as soon as Kara murza got better he was itching to go back to Russia I think what my husband believes in will always outweigh the fear even for you of course

I’m terrified but at the same time you know I married the guy 13 years ago and I knew what I was getting into you know I think there’s nothing better this regime the Putin regime would like us to do than to give up and run away and

We’re not going to give them that pleasure it’s our country even after being poisoned it’s our country we have to fight for it he told us this in June he went back immediately after even though threats against him had intensified like this video posted on Instagram putting him in the crosshairs

Of a sniper rifle he was continuing his opposition work when just last month all of a sudden he begins experiencing this very elevated heart rate his blood pressure drops very low he begins sweating and he has trouble breathing his wife thinks her husband was attacked the same way as

Before the first time he had been dragged from One hospital to another to yet another while they were trying to establish the cause this time he was taken directly to the hospital to the same medical team that had treated him in 2015 and the moment they saw him they

Knew what they were dealing with and what do you think happened the Russian doctor’s official diagnosis is an acute intoxication by an undetermined substance which is poisoning this happened just as Washington was Raising questions about President Trump’s relationship with Mr Putin so last month Vladimir Cara murza became an issue on

The senate floor Vladimir has once again paid the price for his gallantry and integrity politicians on both sides of the aisle spoke out against the apparent poisoning but the Trump Administration has not remarkably Kara murza survived again Less Than 3 weeks after he collapsed he was flown to the US and two

Weeks later we spoke to him for a second time you look pretty good how how are you actually feeling well you’re very kind I don’t think I feel as good as I look he said he’s recovering faster because his doctors knew just what to do this time the Kremlin has denied any

Involvement and since no poison has been found yet supporters of Putin question whether he was really poisoned at all we’ve been told that we are very naive naive journalists gullible and that this whole thing is concocted by the opposition to fool the American people and to thinking that that regime would

Do such a thing to those who say that this is a plot I honestly and I mean this sincerely I wish they never have to experience what I had experienced twice in the last two years when you’re trying to breathe and you cannot when you feel your organs shutting down giving up on

You one after another and when you feel the Life coming out of your body in the next few hours and you don’t remember anything for the next month and then for the next year you’re trying to re relearn how to walk how to use Cutlery

You know how to talk to your kids again I wish these people who tell you these things never have to experience I honestly sincerely do you were very very very sick and went back now are you finished are you saying I’m not going back any oh God no of course not I’m I’m

First of all going to go back of course I will absolutely go back to Russia I’m Russian this is my country and I believe in what I do and what my colleagues do there are many of us but not many have almost died twice many unfortunately

Have died I’m I’m the fortunate one I’m still here I’m still talking to you many of my colleagues cannot do that since he’s been in power in Russia Vladimir Putin has steadily cracked down on Democratic freedoms and the protesters who support them a Crackdown that intensified after his reelection as

President a year ago nothing symbolizes this better than the arrest last March of a group of young feminists after they staged a protest against Putin in moscow’s largest Cathedral it got a lot of attention since the Orthodox Church is one of the most revered institutions in post-soviet Russia the young women

Have become the poster girls of Russian descent it’s unlikely considering they’re a punk band on YouTube that makes LW gestures in cartoonish getups most of what they do is deliberately offensive it might offend you like for starters their obscene but attention grabbing name Riot this is what got them arrested five

Girls in the church in their trademark masks called balaclavas praying to the Virgin Mary to drive Putin away using vile obscenity they blast Putin for limiting freedoms and jailing protesters the whole thing lasts only 51 seconds before they’re shut down it looked silly like a prank which made the

Harsh punishment seem so out of proportion two of them were sent to labor camps for this now a year later we track down the other three who were at the church two are in hiding katcha samich isn’t she was put on trial and convicted but released after 7 months because she

Never actually danced on the altar that’s her that day in white do you have any regrets about what happened that day no of course not look what’s happened since the election Putin has brought in a new level of repressive government measures in Russia she says they chose moscow’s biggest Russian

Orthodox Cathedral because in last year’s election the patriarch called Putin a miracle from God the elections weren’t legitimate there was vote rigging there was false counting it was clear that the president put himself in power but are you advocating the overthrow of this government here we want the government to leave

Power because we consider it illegitimate but we’re advocating for a peaceful overthrow the band members are idealistic and brave and well educated kacha is a computer engineer she was living at home home with her dad and working in a government arms plant when she decided to become a political

Provocator she began with anti-authority stunts like surprising female cops by kissing them than posting the video Online her partner in crime was Nadia toak kinova a philosophy student and seasoned agitate they formed their punk band as Moscow was boiling over with protests in 2011 after Putin announced his bid for re-election it was Russia’s Arab Spring and the band made up of 12 or so

Feminists who call themselves girls or dushi set out to change the world they staged public disturbances like this one in the middle of red square right under the Kremlin how in Riot Riot shouting a profanity that Putin was so scared of protesters quote he peed in his

Pants here you girls are you’re clearly really intelligent and you put on these crude almost juvenile acts this is the language we’ve chosen the language of punk it’s not highly intellectual it’s intentionally lowered dumbed down we’ve in the specific kind of language to attract attention the Kremlin didn’t pay

Much attention until the church performance because that went viral Kata Nadja and another girl Maria alakin were arrested and then quickly became a cause celeb free Riot South Park Amnesty International Madonna pled for their release their supporters like Chessmaster Gary Kasparov who’s been arrested many times for protesting

Against Putin thought the case was trumped up a lot of people I know who you would respect think that to be obscene in a church on the altar was a step too far it was not a blasphemy they asked Virgin Mary to kick out a dictator

I believe it was an act of of civil courage and they were they were exercising their rights yeah but the words were offensive the words were the words they cussed the words were offensive for and for patriarch and I believe they both deserved it but what exactly was the crime the ban committed

Sergey marov an academic who serves as a political spokesman for Putin says authorities had trouble coming up with one what exact law did they break you know some people say all they did was sing a song they didn’t even sing it they lips synced it oh this issue yeah

That’s right it’s the problem with uh to find the law finally the Court founded Z law what they found was the charge of hooliganism motivated by religious hate because the girls were disrespectful to the church and marov says if they had not been given a substantial sentence Believers would have rioted did the

Authorities intervene and say give them a harsh penalty much harsher than they deserved because of a fear of violence absolutely but is that right do you think that’s right to stretch the law it’s duty of authorities to stop the violence but there hadn’t been any violence it’s very clear prediction in

Their trial the girls were defiant Nadia pumping her fist as she was led into court if Putin gave them a stage they were going to use it did you ever consider begging for forgiveness throwing yourself at the mercy of the Court no the whole process was so unfair

To us from the beginning it’s strange when you’re innocent are you supposed to ask for forgiveness from the judge who’s ready to put you away for several years no this wasn’t even discussed were you in the courtroom yes every day P velov Nadia’s husband and fellow political

Activist saw his wife and the other two on display in a cage an eerie echo of a Soviet show trial when the verdict came it was a jolt two years in prison for me it was obviously shock it’s the last thing you expected yes what about the

Girls well the girls were smiling what it happened they were smiling when you’re really put in this helpless situation when you understand that your life is decided by political motives and a lot of people really do understand that you’re fighting for the good cause the best thing you can do is actually

Smile Kata was released but Maria and Nadia both young mothers of toddlers were sent to to far away penal colonies when the verdict was read protests erupted outside the courtroom and Gary Kasparov and two dozen others were arrested is this case of this punk rock group is it really significant is

It important I think it is any attack on Putin is now a crime Russia is now it’s you may call it a modern dictatorship because you know attacking the ruler becomes a a can be punished by the criminal court and they represent that shift yes they

They exposed it what was it about them that Drew all so much attention you may say whatever you want about their performance but it was innocuous I mean just it’s it was not threatening and the state machine KGB chor you know all going after them I think it’s just you

Know this some sort of a version of it’s not even David go gol it’s just you know Goliath versus girls that was not lost on those close to Putin it looked like a very heavy-handed action against these weak little girls yeah like way overreaction yeah we know this no one

Cares I mean you don’t no no no we care about this we the image yeah we doesn’t like such awful image of Russia because it’s create problems for us this image doesn’t allow millions of Russian who want to travel to Germany Italy friends and to have vacation there easily they

Don’t allow to do this it’s stop investment to Russian economy course all because of this trial yes of course because bad image all because of the trial of those girls of course but we have to do because we have to protect ourself because if we will be weak our

Image will be even worse it doesn’t help help the image that Nadia and Maria are suffering in harsh prison conditions Maria is in perm where temperatures can dip to 50 below zero back in Moscow her husband is raising their 5-year-old son alone we accompanied Nadia’s husband Pi

On a 7-hour drive to mordovia to see her ik8 that’s what it’s called this one he says she works grueling shifts sewing uniforms and that she’s seen their 5-year-old daughter GE only once did you and Nadia talk about your child and the consequences I’m talking about beforehand the consequences of this

Little girl being raised without her mother well obviously we do we did talk about that nously but if you really want to change history you have to be able to put everything you have on the line and then you do have a chance of changing it

Changing history is not a hobby it’s not something you can take part time but there were four girls on the altar that day what happened to the other two well they went into hiding we found one of them still hiding in Moscow a year later

So what do they call you cot cot you’re the drummer in the group are you Good Cod agreed to go on television for the first time though only in disguised voice and balaclava she wanted to show us that the band still exists so she led us into a Nether world where some members of the band get together she says very few people know

Her identity do your parents know that you were in the protest they know they’re not really happy about it my dad he’s religious he thought what we did it was sort of an antichrist kind of act she had managed to dodge the authorities after the performance by

Hiding in the rinf music studio where they had recorded the song that got her bandmates arrested cot believes she will be left alone now as long as she keeps a low profile are you at all worried that just giving us this interview will be seen as a protest yes I am a little

Worried it’s a feeling similar to what I had before the performances we did do you want it to be seen as a protest I do I want this I’m here to say you shouldn’t give up what happened to us unacceptable it’s been a year President Putin is firmly back in power with solid

Public support as for the opposition several organizers of last year’s protests are facing prosecution Nadia and Maria are soon up for parole but the band has not staged a single action since the trial and their videos are now banned Mr Putin seems stronger than ever there are new laws against dissent

Sounds like it was David and Goliath and Goliath won I don’t think it’s like that it’s a fight it’s an ongoing fight just because there was a court case doesn’t mean that we’re going to stop and shut our mouths we have a lot of things to say we’re going to continue to work

Continue to do what we do so the Battle of Goliath and the girls goes on but like a Russian novel it’s complicated the polls show that most Russians were offended by that dance on the altar but most also think the punishment was way too Severe

About 60 Minutes

“60 Minutes,” the most successful television broadcast in history. Offering hard-hitting investigative reports, interviews, feature segments and profiles of people in the news, the broadcast began in 1968 and is still a hit, over 50 seasons later, regularly making Nielsen’s Top 10.

Video “Alexey Navalny and Putin’s history of suspected poisonings and crackdowns | 60 Minutes Full Episodes” was uploaded on 02/17/2024 to Youtube Channel 60 Minutes