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Tony Blinken during his confirmation hearing. Photo: Alex Edelman/pool/AFP via Getty

Secretary of State nominee Tony Blinken said at a confirmation hearing on Tuesday that it was “extraordinary how frightened Vladimir Putin seems to be of one man” — Alexey Navalny.

Why it matters: Russia’s most prominent opposition figure, Navalny, returned to Russia on Sunday and was swiftly arrested. He spent the previous five months recovering in Germany after being poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. His detention poses an early foreign policy challenge for the Biden administration.

What he’s saying: Blinken told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Navalny served as a voice for millions of Russians, “and their voice needs to be heard in Russia.”

  • “The attempts to silence that voice by silencing Mr. Navalny is something that we strongly condemn,” Blinken added, noting that Navalny's arrest and other points of tension with Russia would be “very high on the agenda for an incoming administration.”
  • Incoming national security adviser Jake Sullivan previously called for Navalny's immediate release.

The latest: Navalny was ordered to remain in pre-trial detention for 30 days. He was officially arrested for violating the conditions of a suspended prison term by missing an appointment in December.

Worth noting: Blinken praised Sen. Mitt Romney, who serves on the committee, for being “prescient” on Russia. Romney was mocked for referring to Russia as America’s “number one geopolitical foe” in a 2012 presidential debate with Barack Obama, including by Obama himself.

Go deeper: Bill Browder on Russia-U.S. relations after Alexei Navalny's arrest

Go deeper

Updated Mar 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden Cabinet tracker: Which nominees have been confirmed

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Jan. 16 in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

All of President Biden's Cabinet nominees have now been confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

The big picture: Biden now has known, trusted people around him, many from the Obama administration, to help implement his policies and turn away from the tumultuous Trump years.

Robinhood IPO brings meme stock icon into the Wall Street fold

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Today is the day everyone can begin buying and selling shares in Robinhood, which goes public on the New York Stock Exchange after raising $1.89 billion in its IPO.

Why it matters: Robinhood is considered a proxy for the rise of retail investing, particularly among younger Americans. But it also has drawn regulatory and political scrutiny for a variety of business practices, and found itself in the crosshairs after users drove up the price of GameStop stock earlier this year.

Study: Cost of carbon emissions measured in lives lost is high

Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Axios Visuals

Adding projected heat-related deaths into cost-benefit analysis of federal rules would tilt policymaking in favor of more aggressive carbon emissions cuts, a new study finds.

Why it matters: The social cost of carbon helps determine the outcome of cost-benefit analyses that underpin federal regulations. Adding in global warming's potential to cause more heat-related fatalities would tilt the policy calculus from supporting a gradual phaseout of emissions starting in 2050, to fully decarbonizing by the same year.