On the 80th anniversary of the assassination of Leon Trotsky, Russia celebrated its violent past by attempting to assassinate his current protege, Alexi Navalny.
As Germany came to Navalny’s aid, all of Europe should pause and reflect on Russia’s history of silencing its opposition leaders with assassination. More importantly, how these murders often happen outside of Russia.
While Navalny was poisoned on Russian soil, the Kremlin often prefers to execute their rivals across their borders into their European neighbors land. Why make a mess in your own backyard when you can leave it to the Czechs and Germans to clean it up?
Stalin may have been bold in claiming responsibility for Trotsky’s death, sending a message to all who would oppose him, Putin has been more subtle. Never taking responsibility and always leaving some doubt to his involvement, Putin sends his thugs and FSB cronies to do his dirty work.
The boldness of Putin’s continuing spree of violence and murder throughout Europe should be alarming to every citizen in the EU. Putin and the Kremlin are not afraid of creating martyrs because a martyr can not take the place of a true opposition leader. The ghosts of Putin’s critics can inspire but can not take the reigns from the man who seeks to dominate Europe with an iron fist.