Background Briefing: January 26, 2021
Putin’s Dilemma: A Dead Navalny Means More Demonstrations While a Live Navalny Leads the Opposition
We begin on the day that President Biden had his first phone call with Vladimir Putin and go to Moscow to speak with Alexey Kovalev, a Russian journalist who writes about propaganda, fake news and Russian state media. He is the investigative editor at Meduza, an independent Russian news outlet, and he joins us to discuss his article at The New York Times, “Something special just happened in Russia: Crackdown and coercion are no longer enough to stop people protesting“. We look into the dilemma that the opposition leader Alexei Navalny poses for Putin who recently tried to assassinate the dissident with Novichok, a nerve agent used by the Russian security services in an attempt to kill the Skripals in the U.K. Although he is in prison, Navalny continues to outmaneuver Putin and if Putin kills Navalny, demonstrations which happened over the weekend will only multiply, but if Putin lets Navalny live, then Navalny continues to be the leader of the resistance against the Putin kleptocracy. Meanwhile opposition to Putin also comes from within the security services with some factions opposed to the looting of the country while other more sinister factions in league with organized crime, are even worse than Putin.
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