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“How did the world let this happen?”: Imprisoned Georgian ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili on Alexei Navalny’s death

Mikheil Saakashvili, the former President of Georgia, responded to reports of Alexei Navalny’s death with several posts on Facebook in Russian, English, and Georgian — all with different wordings.

Saakashvili’s post in Russian read:

“The most talented fighter of heroic resistance for freedom, Alexei Navalny died at the hands of Putin. I often disagreed with him, and Putin often compared us and hated us both equally.
Alexei — from his prison cell — even called on the pro-Russian regime in Tbilisi to stop their undignified treatment of me. My thoughts and prayers are with Alexei's wife and daughter.
And yet, I never stop wondering — how did the World let this happen?”

His English post read:

“Alexei Navalny, a great hero of the resistance against the Putin regime, is dead - a great tragedy that was seen coming for quite some time.
I and Alexei used to disagree with each other in the past. Still, I gratefully appreciated his expressing his solidarity towards my mistreatment in a Georgian prison by the Putin-backed regime of oligarch Ivanishvili. I admired his courage and huge talent.
And now I want to address the West and participants of the Munich security conference to try to save at least Vladimir Kara-Murza, Ilia Yashin, and other political prisoners of the Russian Regime.
Also, try to save me. I am also the personal prisoner of Vladimir Putin, and Russians make no secret of it. I was poisoned in prison, presently I am held in the prison hospital, where I am not properly treated according to Europe's anti-torture body with the world looking on. Putin often compared Navalny with me. He promised to hang me. Navalny is gone. Am I the next one on Putin's death row?”

Saakashvili returned to Georgia in 2021 from Ukraine, where he had been appointed governor of Odesa in 2015 on the basis of his reformist credentials.

He wanted to return to politics in his home country, but upon his arrival to Georgia in October 2021, he was immediately arrested after being convicted in absentia of abuses of power. Last May, after his health deteriorated, he was transferred from prison to a hospital.

In April 2023, Navalny came out in support of Saakashvili. He called on the Georgian authorities to “release him for medical treatment with a suspended sentence, or do something like that, which would allow the parties to comply with the law and save face.” Saakashvili responded by wishing Navalny “to survive, to be free, and to reach his desired goal.”

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