Why does everyone keep dying on me?

IS it me? Am I cursed in some way? Because Navalny is far from the first. There was Prigozhin last year and countless others. Why do they all keep dying? 

You would think, from the outside, this should be the happiest time of my life. A youthful 71, president of Russia, the special military operation in the Ukraine on the verge of liberating its grateful people. What in my life is less than perfect?

But this morning, once again, my mood is ruined by grave news. My friend and collegue Alexis Navalny, who I often light-heartedly jousted with in opposition, has sadly passed on.

This after I moved him to a much healthier prison where the cold air would help his condition. I did everything to safeguard his health, and still he succumbs to an illness doctors can only describe as ‘mysterious’.

Last year there was my great friend and former chef Yevgeny Prigozhin, taken far too young by an unexplained airplane accident of the kind that could happen to anyone.

And so many others over the years. Boris Beerzovsky, who hung himself unexpectedly. Mikhail Lesin, the founder of that great independent media outlet Russia Today, dead of a sudden heart attack. Pavel Antov, who fell from a window. Ravil Maganov, also window.

Why have so many good men been taken? Yes, perhaps we had fallings out, but that only makes things harder because I never got to make up with them before they died. You think that doesn’t hang heavy on my compassionate heart?

I owe it to these men, and to so many others, not to allow this to bring me down. I will carry on while all around me fall, unwavering in my course. But know this: I do it for them.

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Audiences surprised to discover Dune: Part Two is a musical

AUDIENCES at last night’s Dune: Part Two premiere were astonished to learn the gritty sci-fi sequel is in fact a musical.

Unlike the first instalment which was a broadly faithful adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic novel, Dune: Part Two followed the latest Hollywood trend of sneaking in an unnecessary musical number every 15 minutes.

Film critic Martin Bishop said: “I was ready to pick up where the last film left off and watch Paul and the Fremen bring peace to Arrakis. So imagine my surprise when everyone started to recap the plot via a samba.

“Admittedly I haven’t read the book, so I don’t know if this is taking liberties with the source material. But I find it hard to believe that sandworms were attracted by a beatboxing Chani or that the House of Atreides was avenged with a rap battle. It wouldn’t really work on the page.”

Premiere attendee Nikki Hollis said: “In retrospect, the Ice Spice cameo feels inevitable. But that doesn’t mean I appreciate it.

“First Wonka then Mean Girls, now this. Why can’t Warner Bros give people what they want? A punishingly bleak sci-fi epic that makes you feel every gruelling second of its unending runtime. That shit gets bums on seats.

“Although admittedly the cast’s performance of Sandstorm by Darude sounded amazing coming out of the cinema speakers as the credits started to roll. Worth the ticket price alone.”