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Sen. Young calls Navalny’s death an assassination

Young calls Navalny’s death an assassination

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — U.S. Sen. Todd Young said he hopes the death of Russian dissident Alexey Navalny pushes lawmakers to approve more aid for Ukraine.

The Republican’s comments came earlier this week during a visit to IUPUI. Navalny, long one of the most prominent critics of Russian President Vladimir Putin, died in a penal colony above the Arctic Circle one week ago.

Young, who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Navalny’s death has drawn attention back toward the Putin regime’s actions both domestically and in Ukraine.

“I would hope that every American’s hearts are touched, their consciences pricked by this assassination, which is what it was,” he said.

Saturday marks two years since Russian forces launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, drastically expanding a conflict that began a decade ago when Russia seized Crimea and the eastern Ukrainian oblasts, or provinces, of Donetsk and Luhansk. Since the 2022 invasion, the United Nations estimates more than 10,200 Ukrainian civilians have been killed and more than 19,300 have been injured.

Young said Navalny’s death and the ongoing conflict underscore the need for the United States to support Ukrainian forces defending their country and those dissidents still inside Russia fighting Putin’s regime.

“We have an obligation to support the freedom fighters in Ukraine and those within Russia so that we can continue to create an atmosphere where democratic governance flourishes and where our interests and values are protected,” he said. “They’re not protected when you have autocrats in power that have nuclear weapons at their disposal.”

The White House on Friday announced a new round of sanctions against Russia in response to Navalny’s death. Targets of the new sanctions include drone and industrial chemical manufacturers and the deputy director of Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service, who was promoted three days after Navalny died.