Navalny film wins Best Documentary at BAFTA awards
“Navalny,” a CNN Films and HBO co-production, took home Best Documentary at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards Sunday night.
The film follows Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny through the assassination attempt against the Kremlin critic in 2020 and his political rise in Russia.
The documentary win comes as Navalny himself remains in Russia, where he is serving a nine-year term in a maximum-security prison, and where he earlier this month was transferred to harsher solitary confinement for six months.
Christo Grozev, a Bellingcat investigator and collaborator on the film, was barred from attending the BAFTA award ceremony this year following safety advice from the British police.
But Dasha Navalnaya, Navalny’s daughter, was in attendance at the awards show on Sunday.
“I’m very happy that the story about my father came out and the work he is doing is getting noticed,” Navalnaya told CNN while on the BAFTA red carpet. “It’s very important to remember to fight for your freedom, for democracy around the world. I’m in UK now and I study at Stanford in the United States, and not a lot of people remember that Russia is not a democratic country and we’re really trying to fight for the freedom of the people there.”
Ukraine blames Russia for disruption to UN nuclear watchdog’s work in Zaporizhzhia
Ukraine’s foreign ministry issued a statement Sunday accusing Russia of interfering with the work of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, which is currently occupied by Russian forces.
The UN watchdog said earlier this month that it has been unable to rotate its team of experts present in the plant in southern Ukraine due to “increased military activity.”
Since September, teams of experts have spent about one month each at the plant, then swapped out with another group, the IAEA explained in a statement. In order to do so, they have to cross the front line into Ukrainian-controlled territory. The organization deemed that too dangerous this month, calling the area surrounding the plant “volatile” and a “combat zone.”
In Ukraine’s statement Sunday, the foreign ministry claimed that Russia continues to surround the plant with military equipment and servicemen. Ukraine accused Russia of violating the norms of international law and undermining nuclear and radiation safety at the plant.
“If Russia is not stopped, its criminal actions at the Ukrainian nuclear facility could lead to a catastrophe, the scale of which is yet to be known by Europe,” the foreign ministry said.
It called on Moscow authorities “to immediately unblock the rotation of IAEA experts and ensure their instant safe movement through the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine to the Zaporizhzhia NPP.”
More background: IAEA chief Rafael Grossi held talks with senior Russian officials in Moscow earlier this month. According to the IAEA, the talks were part of the lengthy efforts to “agree and implement a much-needed nuclear safety and security protection zone around Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP).”
Zaporizhzhia, with six reactors, is the largest nuclear power station in Europe. The area, and the nuclear complex, has been under Russian control since the beginning of the war. Grossi and other nuclear experts have been concerned about the threat of a nuclear accident amid shelling around the plant.
Grossi has assured Ukraine the IAEA will never recognize Russia as the owner of the Zaporizhzhia plant, according to Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal. Grossi also pledged a continuous presence of the IAEA at all of Ukraine’s nuclear plants.