Published: February 20, 2024

By Jim Lichtman
Read More

photo: AP

Integrity frequently requires sacrifice. Some maintain the courage of their convictions; some don’t.

The death of Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny didn’t come as a surprise. One man is to blame and everyone knows it—a poisonous dictator who feared Navalny’s growing influence. When Navalny’s family asked to have his body returned to them the request was denied. However, Britain’s Telegraph reported that his body has been located in an Arctic hospital morgue. All that is known at this time is that his head and chest were bruised.

Asked to comment on the leader of Russia’s resistance, House Speaker Mike Johnson said in a statement. “We must be clear that Putin will be met with united opposition. As Congress debates the best path forward to support Ukraine, the United States and our partners must be using every means available to cut off Putin’s ability to fund his unprovoked war in Ukraine and aggression against the Baltic states.”

Note two key passages: “the best path forward to support Ukraine” and “using every means available to cut off Putin’s ability…”

The Senate has passed a bipartisan bill that would allow aid to be sent to Ukraine, a country under attack for two years by the same man who previously tried to poison his most vocal critic but failed. Johnson, blatantly beholden to his most extreme house colleagues, said he would not call the bill to the floor for a vote. Utter hypocrisy. He knows it; we know it; Ukraine knows it. And we all know who is to blame; a poisonous man whose influence has overtaken a body of government and threatens to do more if he is elected.

America has always been called “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” Despite what many Republicans say privately, bravery has been scrubbed from their vocabulary because they can’t free themselves from an American tyrant who appears likely to be their best hope of regaining the White House next year. History will record this moment as one of the worst actions by representatives who have sworn an oath to protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic than ever before.

In a social media post last January, Navalny’s integrity came into sharper focus when he was asked—for the umpteenth time—why he returned to Russia after staving off death from poisoning.

“I don’t want to give up either my country or my beliefs. I cannot betray either the first or the second. If your beliefs are worth something, you must be willing to stand up for them. And if necessary, make some sacrifices.”

We may never know how Aleksei Navalny died, but we know how he lived.

This country will always know how a majority of House Republicans lived and the shame that will live on.


  1. Yes, Navalny is a loss to the world. “History…one of the worst actions by representatives who have sworn an oath to protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic.” I like Jim that you are helping to spread the word and I will look for more ways to support our oath to move forward…

Leave a Comment

Read More Articles
The Latest... And Sometimes Greatest