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Navalny Calls for Sanctions Against Russian State Media ‘Warmongers’

City workers carry body bags with six partially burned bodies found in the town of Bucha on April 5, 2022. Genya SAVILOV / AFP

Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny called for sanctions on Russian state-run media Tuesday, accusing President Vladimir Putin’s “propagandists” of turning into “warmongers” during the country’s deadly invasion of Ukraine. 

Navalny said the “monstrosity of lies” he witnessed on state television’s coverage of atrocities left behind by Russia’s withdrawal from towns outside Ukraine’s capital Kyiv prompted him to lobby for economic penalties. Russia claims the widespread footage of dead bodies on the streets of Bucha are “fake” and a Western provocation.

“My point is that Putin's propaganda has long ceased to be a tool. They are actual warmongers and have become a party in their own right,” Navalny said in a Twitter thread.

“They demand a war to the bitter end, storming Kyiv, bombing Lviv. Even the prospect of a nuclear war does not scare them.”

Navalny, Russia’s most prominent opposition figure, had long advocated for Western sanctions against Kremlin officials and business tycoons linked to Putin. His team’s video investigations into some of the figures’ alleged corruption have sparked some of Russia's biggest street protests in recent years.

His latest calls for asset freezes and visa blacklists for Russian state media personalities and a ban on equipment and services come amid steps already taken by the European Union and the United Kingdom before and after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.

“Warmongers should be treated as war criminals. From the editors-in-chief to the talk show hosts to the news editors, [they] should be sanctioned now and tried someday,” Navalny tweeted.

Navalny was last month found guilty of fraud and contempt of court, adding nine years to his current 2.5-year sentence for violating parole during his poisoning recovery.

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