Anna Karetnikova: Mama, Aleksei Navalny’s gone. He’s dead, Mama.

19 February 2024

Source: Facebook

Turns out, I’m pretty old and I remember a lot. A lot about Russia.

I remember October 2006, when I agonized over the hatred in that Chechen chat I was moderating and then totally had to block a young Chechen named Deni from Tallin who totally got to me with his fury, and also his zeal . . . as he wrote to me in a DM: You heard! Just stop it! Anya! They killed Anna Politkovskaya. . . .

I remember July 2009, when early in the morning we got the news of Natasha Estemirova’s kidnapping in Grozny. And how that evening in a muffled, failing voice Oleg Orlov told me nothing more was needed. She’d been found in Ingushetia. Shot, killed.

I remember February 2015, when, after returning from the remand centre, I was poring over a complaint against dozens of unfortunates, and once again a call broke the silence: Did you hear . . . Boris Nemtsov . . . He’s been killed. Shot on the bridge.

And now I can’t forget February 2024, when just after finishing my French lesson from a far-off country I took a call from my younger son: Mama . . . And then a message from my older son. . . . Mama, Aleksei Navalny’s gone. He’s dead, Mama.

I wish I could be something more than a chronicler.

Translated by Marian Schwartz

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