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Navalny's Posthumous Memoir ‘Patriot’ to Be Published This Fall

Alexei Navalny speaks at a rally in Moscow. IlyaIsaev (CC BY-SA 3.0)

A memoir written by the late Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny will be published posthumously this fall, his wife and allies announced Thursday.

Navalny died at an Arctic penal colony on Feb. 16 while serving a 19-year sentence on “extremism” charges widely seen as politically motivated.

As one of President Vladimir Putin’s most vocal political opponents, the activist gained notoriety for his sleek anti-corruption investigations in the decade leading up to his death, which allies say was orchestrated by the Kremlin.

Navalny began writing his memoir after surviving a 2020 poisoning with the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok, his wife Yulia Navalnaya wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “He was drawn in unexpectedly quickly. He liked to recall the events of his life in connection with the events in [Russia].” 

Titled “Patriot,” Navalny’s memoir serves as a final show of defiance that might galvanize the late activist’s supporters, Navalnaya told the New York Times.

“This book is a testament not only to Alexei’s life, but to his unwavering commitment to the fight against dictatorship — a fight he gave everything for, including his life,” she was quoted as saying by the newspaper. “Through its pages, readers will come to know the man I loved deeply — a man of profound integrity and unyielding courage.”

Navalny wrote much of “Patriot” while recovering from his 2020 poisoning in Germany, according to the New York Times, which added that he drafted the entire manuscript himself.

The Kremlin critic returned to Russia in January 2021 and was arrested immediately at the airport.

The U.S. and U.K. subsidiaries of the publishing conglomerate Penguin Random House said Navalny’s autobiography “Patriot” will be published on Oct. 22.

Navalnaya said the book has already been translated into 11 languages, adding that it will also be published in Russian. She said that pre-orders would be available as of Thursday. 

First prints of the memoir will begin at 500,000 copies, according to an official statement from Team Navalny.

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