Kremlin says Navalny documentary Oscar shows Hollywood ‘politicization’

March 16, 2023 - 3:10 PM
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Daniel Roher and the team of "Navalny" win the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature Film for "Navalny" during the Oscars show at the 95th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 12, 2023. (Reuters/Carlos Barria)

The Kremlin said on Monday that the award of an Oscar to documentary about jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny showed “a certain element of politicization” by Hollywood.

Navalny”, which won the Academy Award for best feature documentary on Sunday, shows the Kremlin critic recovering in Germany from being poisoned with a nerve agent in Siberia in 2020, and working with the investigative news outlet Bellingcat to unmask those responsible.

READ: Navalny,’ portrait of Kremlin critic, wins best documentary Oscar

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he had not watched the film, but that nevertheless, “I dare to assume that there is of course a certain element of politicization of the topic”.

He said that Hollywood was no stranger to politics, “but I can’t talk about any cinematic merits of this film, because I’m not familiar with it.”

In the film, Navalny pinned responsibility for the poisoning episode on a team of agents from the FSB state security service. Russia denied attempting to kill him.

Navalny has long been a thorn in the side of President Vladimir Putin, who takes care to avoid mentioning his name in public. He is now serving combined sentences of 11-1/2 years in a high-security penal colony for fraud and contempt of court on charges that he says were trumped up to silence him.

—Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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