Special screening + conversation

programme editor
Tim Wagemakers

Because of the tragic death of Alexei Navalny, Russia’s main opposition leader and Putin’s fiercest critic, we organize a special screening of the documentary Navalny. Before the screening we speak with the Russian journalists Pavel Kanygin (Novaja Gazeta) and Ekatarina Kotrikadze (TV Rain). How does Navalny’s death impact Putin’s dictatorship, the war in Ukraine and European democracy?

On 16 February 2024, the Russian prison service reported that Navalny had died at the age of 47. Until now, it’s not clear where his body his. His death sparked protests all over the world. Known for his online anti-corruption activities and electoral campaigns, Navalny was a frequent target of the security services. At the time of his death, Navalny was serving a 19-year sentence on charges widely seen as politically motivated in a high-security prison colony above the Arctic Circle.

About the film

Navalny is the Oscar-winning film following Russia’s former opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, in the wake of his Novichok poisoning as he aggressively works to uncover who was behind his assassination attempt in this gripping documentary thriller.

In August 2020, a plane travelling from Siberia to Moscow made an emergency landing. One of its passengers, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, was deathly ill. Taken to a local Siberian hospital and eventually evacuated to Berlin, doctors confirmed that he had been poisoned with Novichok, a nerve agent implicated in attacks on other opponents of the Russian government. President Vladimir Putin immediately cast doubt on the findings and denied any involvement.

While recovering, Navalny and his team — already with a large social media following in tow — partnered with the data investigative journalism outlet Bellingcat as well as other international news organizations to investigate his attempted assassination and find proof of the Kremlin’s involvement.

About the speakers

Pavel Kanygin is a Russian journalist. He works as a research journalist for To Be Continued. That was formerly a part of Russia’s leading oppositional newspaper Novaja Gazeta, until the latter was forced to stop their activities in Russia due to increased government censorship. Now, To Be Continued functions as an autonomous news outlet. After the invasion of Ukraine, he fled to Amsterdam. Since the founding of the newspaper in 1993, 6 journalists from the editorial team have been murdered. Furthermore, Pavel has been threatened and intimated because of his investigative reports about the war in Donbas and the MH17 incident.

Ekaterina Kotrikadze is a News Director and Anchor of TV Rain (Dozhd TV), Moscow. The only independent television channel in Russia was forced to shut down in the beginning of March, 2022. TV Rain is now operating from Amsterdam.

It’s getting obvious that antidemocratic and conservative forces are uniting against democracy. The death of Navalny makes that increasingly clear again. We see an emergent international alliance of dictatorships. As De Balie we underline Navalny’s message to keep speaking out against anti-democratic regimes, like he said, ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing’. At De Balie, we find it important to uphold Navalny’s legacy and honour his tremendous fight for the Russian democratic movement.

Yoeri Albrecht, artistic and directing manager at De Balie.


Pavel KanyginRussian journalist
Ekatarina KotrikadzeGeorgian-Russian journalist