Time to Stop Putting Up with Putin

The agents of the Russian despotic dictator, Vladimir Putin, botched an attempt to assassinate Alexei Navalny, Russia’s principle opposition leader, by poisoning him. When Navalny courageously returned to Russia after recuperating in a German hospital, Putin had him arrested and incarcerated. Navalny has initiated a hunger strike after being denied medical care, which he apparently needs because of the sadistic treatment inflicted on him.

Executing Navalny might cause unpleasant blowback. Putin thinks it would be more politic for Navalny to die slowly from “unfortunate” medical conditions. An editorial last night in the online Washington Post urges that stronger sanctions be imposed to demonstrate to the chief monster in the Kremlin that the U.S. won’t ignore such behavior. The Post argues that an appropriate step would be to freeze the assets and apply visa bans of 35 oligarchs and their families in the Putin entourage. This sounds right to me.