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Navalny: Putin’s Nemesis, Russia’s Future?

Published by Hurst Publishers in the UK, and Oxford University Press in the US. Translations: German (Hoffmann und Campe); Romanian (Corint). Description Who is Alexei Navalny? Poisoned in August 2020 and transported to Germany for treatment, the politician returned to Russia in January 2021 in the full glare of the world media. His immediate detention […]

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‘Putin did Navalny’

When anything bad happens in Russia, you’ll usually find there are two types of Russia-watchers: the ‘believers’ and the ‘sceptics’. The believers will immediately see the hand of Vladimir Putin, his direct, personal involvement, his orders. The sceptics will not rule out his involvement, but like Yana Gorokhovskaya, they’ll argue that Russia is not ‘a highly centralised system that he controls manually’, that Putin is ‘certainly Russia’s most important decision-maker’, but ‘the political system is not his personal well-oiled machine’. There are many groups and individuals with political agency, operating without Putin’s knowledge, and sometimes against his own interests.

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The Russian Liberal Opposition: ‘Nothing Has Worked’

‘Democratically oriented’ Russians had basically three strategies left to them in these elections. To vote for one of the two liberal candidates: Ksenya Sobchak or Grigori Yavlinsky. To boycott the elections. To rally around the main opposition candidate, the communist Pavel Grudinin. The results are in and Max Katz, a political organizer and consultant , has nailed it: ‘Nothing has worked’:

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