Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny out of coma, responsive
Russian opposition politicians hope Navalny’s return to his homeland will awaken civil society
The news of Alexei Navalny’s firm intention to return to his homeland excited the Russian public and social networks. He made public his decision shortly after a lawsuit filed with the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) to replace his suspended sentence with a real one in connection with the so-called Yves Rocher case. As a reminder, the opposition politician said that he had bought an air ticket to Moscow for January 17. More details here.
The question to return or not was never before me. Just because I didn’t leave. I ended up in Germany, having arrived in it in an intensive care box, for one reason: they tried to kill me – he wrote on social networks.
Despite the fact that the probationary period appointed for Navalny back in 2014 in the Yves Rocher case expired on December 30 last year, in Russia the opposition politician faces 3.5 years in prison. He himself is convinced that the case against him is fabricated, and the verdict is politically motivated..
Writer Boris Akunin (Chkhartishvili) on his Facebook page called Navalny’s decision a historic event that will have important consequences. In his opinion, the Kremlin has several options for countering the opposition, but there is not a single good one..
“In any case, Alexei Navalny is doing a strong and beautiful act,” he stressed. At the same time, Akunin admitted that he hoped that this would not happen, because he was concerned about the fate of Navalny’s wife and children..
In turn, a professor at the Higher School of Economics, political scientist Sergei Medvedev wrote on Facebook that Alexei Navalny is “(not) really cool.” According to him, the authorities expected to send the oppositionist “into timelessness”, “into indefinite emigration, in the footsteps of Khodorkovsky.”.
“And what Navalny is doing now is the start of the clock, he pulls Russia out of the deep freeze, from the New Year’s dope, from the eternal Putin, creates an eventfulness by the very act of his return, even by buying a ticket, makes the Kremlin, the security officials, all of us to be determined.” – says the professor.
Dmitry Gudkov: “Alexey’s arrival will inspire many”
Opposition politician Dmitry Gudkov in a commentary for the Russian service of the Voice of America said that he was not at all surprised by Navalny’s decision. It seems to him that it was quite expected.
“All that remains is to welcome the choice made by Alexei,” he added. “This is overwhelmingly positive news. He acted boldly and correctly, in my opinion “.
At the same time, Dmitry Gudkov found it difficult to say what kind of meeting the Russian authorities would prepare for the oppositionist. “But in any case, I think that Alexei’s arrival will inspire many,” he suggested. – Russian society is now in a somewhat demoralized state. He needs a shake-up. I believe that the return of Navalny will change the situation for the better. How long can you stay in a civil coma ?! It’s time to get out of it “.
The politician agrees that the Kremlin has no good moves in the current situation: “It would seem, from the point of view of common sense, there is always a way out. But I am afraid that they will begin to take the most odious and stupid steps. This, it seems to me, is the main risk for Alexey “.
As Dmitry Gudkov understands, Navalny does not plan to arrange a show or a political action out of his return. “At least on the Dozhd TV channel, during the program in which I also participated, he said that he just wanted to return home and go to work the next day,” he said. – I think the question is not how many people will meet him, but that he will again have the opportunity to reach a mass audience. This is what the Kremlin does not like most of all. “.
Discussing what the authorities can do with Navalny, Dmitry Gudkov said: “If they put Alexei in prison, it will help turn him into the Russian Nelson Mandela. But let me remind you that Mandela eventually came to power, however, at the cost of 27 years in prison. “.
If Navalny is arrested, the Kremlin will definitely lose strategically, the opposition politician summed up.
Mikhail Shneider: “The authorities will raise a new national hero with their own hands”
Co-chairman of the Moscow branch of PARNAS, executive secretary of the federal political council of the Solidarity movement, member of the Committee of protest actions Mikhail Shneider admitted that deep down he was sure that Navalny would return. According to him, they have known each other since 2005..
“Judging by the dynamics of Aleksey’s formation as a politician, I expected that he would make such a decision,” he stressed. – As for what fate awaits him in Russia, it is still difficult to say something definite here. But the situation for the authorities is, of course, rather unpleasant. Because if they decide to leave everything as it is, then Navalny will do what he was going to do when he returned to the country. If the authorities begin to press him, arrest him right on the airfield or by a court decision, which will take place at the end of January, then they will raise a new national hero with their own hands. “.
In addition, Mikhail Schneider noted that if Navalny’s rating was high in megalopolises and large cities, then in the country as a whole he was still not well known. But, if the authorities use a repressive apparatus against the oppositionist, then by doing so they will do everything to further popularize him in Russia, he concluded..