Putin Signed 'Own Death Warrant' With Ukraine War—Wife of Jailed Critic

Russia's Vladimir Putin "signed his own death warrant" with the war in Ukraine, the wife of a jailed opposition politician has said.

Vladimir Kara-Murza, a political activist and journalist who has contributed columns to The Washington Post, was arrested in Moscow in April.

He was charged with "spreading deliberately false information" about Russia's military, an offense punishable by up 15 years in jail under a new law aimed at cracking down on dissent and introduced shortly after the start of the invasion of Ukraine in late February.

He is now facing a lengthy jail sentence for "calling this war a war," his wife Evgenia Kara-Murza told The Guardian newspaper.

Evgenia Kara-Murza said her husband may have reason to fear for his life, noting he has twice survived suspected poisonings.

Vladimir Kara-Murza attends a conference
Russian journalist and activist Vladimir Kara-Murza attends a conference of Russia's leading rights group Memorial in Moscow on October 27, 2021. He was arrested in Moscow this past April. Alexander Nemenov/AFP via Getty Images

But she defended her husband's decision to repeatedly return to Russia despite being a permanent resident of the United States, even after the invasion of Ukraine, saying it was because "he believed that as a Russian politician, he cannot call on people to continue fighting if he himself is somewhere safe."

Evgenia Kara-Murza also said she believes the end is nigh for Putin.

She said: "I believe Putin has signed his own death warrant with this war, but he will fall the sooner we end these double standards: at the same time as countries support the Ukrainian people by sending weapons and providing humanitarian aid and imposing sanctions on the Russian economy, they also give Putin billions for oil and gas, which allows him to continue his aggression [...] this has to stop because honestly, it is inexplicable." She could not immediately be reached for further comment.

Newsweek has also contacted the Russian Embassy for comment.

Hours before his arrest, Vladimir Kara-Murza had appeared on CNN and criticized Putin's regime and the invasion of Ukraine.

"This regime that is a power in our country today, it's not just corrupt, it's not just kleptocratic, it's not just authoritarian, it is a regime of murderers," he said.

"That is important to say it out loud... It is really tragic, frankly I have no other word for this, that it took a large scale war in the middle of Europe, which Vladimir Putin is now conducting against Ukraine, for most Western leaders to finally open their eyes to the true nature of this regime."

In a column for The Post sent through his lawyer after his arrest, he said hundreds of Russians who protested the war were being detained.

"The police grab them immediately and take them away," he wrote. "And there are no more media outlets in Russia that can talk about it."

But he also shared hope that Russia "will be free."

"I've never been so sure of it as I am today," he added.

Newsweek has also contacted the Russian Embassy for comment.