Russian tennis star shares ‘brave’ Alexei Navalny post after his death

Russian tennis star Daria Kasatkina has bravely shown her support for Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition leader who recently died at 47. Reports suggest that Navalny lost consciousness and later his life after a brief walk in his Siberian penal colony.

Kasatkina expressed her solidarity with Navalny by sharing a tribute from his wife, Yulia Navalnaya, on her Instagram story. The tribute featured a touching photo of the couple. Fans have been quick to commend the Russian No. 1’s courage on social media.

One Reddit user wrote: “I feel for her. This must be a sad and hopeless time for all Russians wanting some normality. Very brave of her to continue speaking up!” Another added: “Wow… I hope Daria is fully aware of how risky her loud anti-Russia stance might be. she’s really brave.”

A third fan voiced their concern, saying: “I worry for her. At this point, everyone who has been following her knows where her morality stands and what she believes in”. Navalny was a vocal critic of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and a staunch advocate against corruption.

He bravely spoke out against Putin and his government. He was a lawyer and an ex-spy who lived through some poison attacks in jail. His wife thinks Russian officials used a poison called Novichok to kill him, but the Kremlin says they had no involvement in his death.

In 2023, Kasatkina said she can’t go back to Russia because she doesn’t agree with the war with Ukraine, and she feels it would be unsafe to return as she is gay. A Russian leader previously called for her to be called “a foreign agent.”

“It’s unsafe for me now, with the regime we have. As a gay person who opposes the war, it’s not possible to go back,” she shared with the Sunday Times last July. “But I don’t regret it even 1%. When the war started and everything turned to hell, I felt very overwhelmed and I just decided, ‘Screw it all.’ I couldn’t hide anymore.

“I wanted to say my position on the war and my [orientation], which was tough, coming from a country where being gay is not accepted, but it felt like I had a backpack of stones on my shoulders and I just had to throw it off.

“Afterwards, I faced a few consequences, but the only thing that worried me was my parents, and they were fine. They are proud of me. I’m much happier now.

“If it was for money, it wouldn’t work out. It helps a lot to have this love and support with me because I don’t really know where my home is anymore.”

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