Russian opposition politician and Washington Post contributor Vladimir Kara–Murza was detained by Russian authorities in Moscow on Monday, hours after calling the Kremlin “not just corrupt” or “authoritarian” however a “regime of murderers” in a CNN interview—a improvement that has solely heightened issues about the specter of talking out towards Vladimir Putin. “I think a lot of people are very worried about what’s going to happen next,” CNN+ anchor Sara Sidner, who carried out the interview, advised CNN’s John Berman on Tuesday. On Wednesday, CNN’s Brian Stelter requested Sidner whether or not she feels any guilt. “Sure. A little bit,” she replied. “I think it’s more nervousness because I know that he was the one that disclosed where he was.”
In his interview with CNN, Kara-Murza acknowledged the risk he was taking, and is personally familiar with Putin’s brutal tactics. His close friend and associate Boris Nemtsov, a former Russian deputy prime minister turned fierce Putin critic, was shot dead in 2015, and Kara-Murza himself has survived two poisonings, both of which left him in a coma, that he has blamed on the Kremlin. While many dissidents have fled Russia amid Putin’s latest crackdown on independent media, Kara-Murza is among few who have stayed. And he has continued to criticize Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine despite facing up to 15 years in prison for doing so under the Kremlin’s draconian new law. “This is where I have to be,” Kara-Murza advised MSNBC’s Ali Velshi in an interview Sunday. “We all know the price.”
Asked what kinds of considerations CNN made before airing Kara-Murza’s interview, a CNN spokesperson pointed Vanity Fair to Sidner’s comments on Tuesday and Wednesday. MSNBC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
On Tuesday, a day after he was reportedly arrested exterior his house on expenses of disobeying the police, the political activist and journalist was sentenced to fifteen days in jail. The identical day, the Post published an editorial commending Kara-Murza’s willingness to publicly speak out against the Kremlin in columns for the Post and elsewhere, and called for his release. “What is abundantly clear is that Mr. Putin has once again put a critic in his crosshairs, every day sinking Russia deeper into totalitarianism, intolerant of free thought or dissent,” the Editorial Board wrote. Post publisher Fred Ryan also demanded Kara-Murza’s immediate release in a statement that called his detention the latest in Putin’s ongoing effort to “hide the truth about the atrocities Putin is committing in the Russian people’s name.”
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Kara-Murza’s detention can be prompting outrage in Washington. Leaders of the Helsinki Commission, an company that heard from Kara-Murza final month at its listening to about Putin’s “war on truth,” had been “alarmed” by Kara-Murza’s detention, according to a joint statement issued by Sen. Ben Cardin, Co-Chairman Rep. Steve Cohen, and Ranking Members Sen. Roger Wicker and Rep. Joe Wilson. “Vladimir is not a criminal but a true patriot motivated by the potential of a democratic future for Russia and freedom for its people,” they wrote, demanding he “be allowed access to his lawyer and should be released immediately.” Authorities have denied Kara-Murza access to legal counsel in violation of his constitutional rights, the Commission’s press release said.