The arrest of Navalny and the prospects of the protest movement in Russia

Russia arrests over 3,000 amid nationwide pro-Navalny protests

In Washington &# 171; Atlantic Council&# 187; discussed how strong Navalny’s opposition movement is and how the Kremlin will respond to the protests

The arrest and imprisonment of Alexei Navalny will not stop the protest movement in Russia. This opinion was expressed by Vladimir Kara-Murza – Chairman of the Boris Nemtsov Foundation and Vice President of the Free Russia Foundation.

“One of the biggest mistakes that many authoritarian regimes make is turning their main opponents into some kind of national symbols when they are imprisoned. If the Kremlin thinks that they are going to somehow drown out Navalny’s voice by imprisoning him, I think the result will be exactly the opposite. History clearly shows that many dictatorships end up falling not under the rule of their opponents, but rather under the weight of their own mistakes. And what the Kremlin is doing in relation to Navalny may ultimately become one of his biggest mistakes, ”said Vladimir Kara-Murza.

Maria Snegovaya, a political scientist and researcher at the Polytechnic University of Virginia, notes: among young Russians, dissatisfaction with the current government is growing, as demonstrated by the protests on January 23 in support of Navalny.

“Sociological research shows that the regime is currently losing support primarily among the younger generation, those under 35. This trend is especially pronounced in the 18-24 age group. This is exactly what we saw on January 23rd. – notes political scientists. This means that the younger generation is increasingly losing touch with Putin, because this regime has nothing more to offer them. We also see that people who use the Internet are more opposed to the authorities. “.

Vladimir Kara-Murza adds that Alexei Navalny managed to attract young people to his side.

“Alexei Navalny effectively organized the movement and was able to reach out to the younger generation using social networks and other political campaigning methods. We are seeing clear shifts in public opinion. Imprisoning him by the Kremlin in an attempt to diminish Navalny’s attractiveness or reduce the effectiveness of his campaign, such as a tactical vote campaign targeting the September 2021 parliamentary elections – is one of the things he has been most effective at over the past couple of years – will not have effect “.

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Navalny’s investigative film, which claims that Putin owns a luxurious palace near Gelendzhik, has received over 98 million views on YouTube, and over 70% of viewers are residents of Russia. The press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov predictably called the presented information untrue. Vladimir Milov, Navalny’s Russian opposition politician and economic adviser, notes that the film demythologizes the image of Putin.

“Putin has always tried to portray himself as an ascetic who works day and night for the good of the country, and he does this without taking steps for personal enrichment. Now it turns out that in fact he went beyond all limits in caring and paying attention to himself and people close to him. Personal luxury, and this, you know, is even too much for the Russian oligarchs. This is much more than anyone would have thought. Over the course of several weeks or months, more and more people will see the film, discuss it, and be ready to take to the streets. Plus, the economic situation in the country is not improving. Therefore, I would say that in the longer term, I see a strong trend towards an increase in the number of people who want to go out and protest, “he said..

Speakers emphasize: the United States and its European allies must take a tough stance against the Kremlin for poisoning Navalny and suppressing protests.

“This situation is one of the biggest crises faced by the Biden administration. The United States needs to impose sanctions against those close to Putin, whom Navalny proposed. There are two oligarchs against whom no sanctions were imposed earlier: Roman Abramovich and Alisher Usmanov. It is also necessary to impose sanctions against Vladimir Solovyov, one of the propagandists. Navalny also proposed to impose sanctions against the Minister of Health Mikhail Murashko, who is responsible for the fact that Navalny could not immediately get to a hospital in Germany after being poisoned, “said Anders Aslund, an expert at the Atlantic Council..

Experts note: the main product that Russia exports to the West is not oil or gas, but corruption, and that the future of their country depends only on the citizens of Russia..

  • Alexander Yanevsky

    Journalist. Graduated Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Worked on the channel «1 + 1» and «Channel 5». On «Voice of America» since 2014. Was one of two correspondents «Voices of America», covering the Russian presidential elections in 2018 from Moscow. He pays attention to the topic of US-Ukrainian and US-Russian relations. Actively covered the case of Paul Manafort and Maria Butina.

    [email protected]

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The arrest of Navalny and the prospects of the protest movement in Russia

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