Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny (green jacket) and his wife Yulia are waiting for passport control at Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport on Sunday, January 17, 2021
He was arrested on Sunday evening after arriving from Germany, where he had been recovering from paralysis with a nerve agent since the summer. did not go from abroad to report whether he fulfilled the conditions of the old suspended sentence. “Alexei Navalny behind bars may be more dangerous to the regime than at large,” said Alexei Makarkin, an analyst at the Center for Political Technology. But the Kremlin had no choice. “If he left him free, he would show weakness,” he told Truth.
Why did an opposition activist return to Russia when it was certain in advance that he would end up behind bars?
Navalny had a choice: stay beyond the border or return. Staying abroad would be an emigration. He could only deal with domestic policy at a distance. Even with the current technical capabilities, including the Internet, this would mean that he would remain an external player, such as Mikhail Khodorkovsky. It was important for the naval to be able to directly influence the development and to be with his followers. One of the arguments of the propaganda against the emigrants is that they are well where they are, they live happily with the money of Western breadwinners, and their followers go to the market at home with their skins. It would be a difficult moral problem for Navalny to be in exile while his supporters were arrested.
He also had a choice of mode. He could have left him free and not made him a martyr.
Although the state power had a choice, if it left it free, it would show weakness, which it has perceived very negatively since Gorbachev’s time. There is a general belief in Russia that a politician should not be weak, because otherwise he may lose power and the country. The second option, when he was arrested and put in prison, makes Navalny a victim, a martyr, and the attention of the world public is concentrated on him, but in the Kremlin they apparently consider it a lesser evil. This is despite the fact that Navalny behind bars may be more dangerous to the regime than at large.
What did Navalny return by not being detached from domestic political developments in Russia?
Navalny is a complex character who has his opponents even in the ranks of critics of the regime. Now the opposition subculture supports him, regardless of who thinks of him. Once imprisoned at home, he cannot be criticized without the critics suspecting that he is on the side of the regime. From a moral point of view, that would be problematic. Naturally, Navaľnyj is interested in expanding the base of his support.
The camp of his followers is not large compared to the size of the country. How many followers, several tens of thousands?
Tens of thousands are ready to take to the streets. He has more sympathizers, those who once politicized in the kitchen and are now connected to the Internet. He also has staunch opponents who call for him to be punished as a traitor. However, the largest part is made up of conformists. Most Russians do not want to think about it. It is an unpleasant and difficult topic for them. They are not going to stand on either the regime side or the Naval side. It’s out. It is similar to the Soviet regime.
So Putin was right when he said last month about Navalny that the person wasn’t interested in anyone?
Even in Soviet times, when Academician Sakharov was sent into exile, it did not cause any major uproar in the country. They did not think much about the international reputation at the time after the invasion of Afghanistan in Moscow. Today it is similar. But a few years passed and the same Sakharov became a hero in the late 1980s. Navalny is thinking of something similar, he is counting on the evolution of public opinion. He is not so naive as to think that the people will now take to the streets and demand their release. It assumes that the economic situation will not improve so soon, the situation is difficult, a pandemic rages. He calculates that dissatisfaction will increase, the regime will accumulate mistakes and he will increasingly appear as a hero. Therefore, he is ready to set aside some time, because the alternative is to reduce its influence.
Critics of the Kremlin claim that the regime has shut down Navalny because he is afraid of him?
It would be an exaggeration to say that he is afraid of him in the Kremlin. They see him as an enemy and agent of the West, undermining the country’s position in the midst of a raging new Cold War. Therefore, they entrusted his fate into the hands of force structures. And they are not based on any political or image considerations, they act as they know. Their task is to make everything happen quickly and relatively calmly. So that as few people as possible take to the streets. That is also why the plane and Navalný were rerouted to a backup airport on Sunday. And the court held him with him at a small police station in a small town outside Moscow on Monday, so that the opposition would not be able to hold a more massive protest action there. From a technical point of view, they do it the way force structures have learned. However, this is a strong blow to the country’s reputation. This is also due to such details that Navalny was tried in a room where a portrait of former NKVD leader Genrich Jagoda, a katana from the Stalinist era, hangs on the notice board.
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Source: Pravda.sk – Správy by spravy.pravda.sk.
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