Putin Under Attack at Home and Abroad

After Naval’ny’s return and incarceration foreign protests mounted. Locking up Naval’ny and hoping by this means to silence him has turned out to be futile as his supporters released video of Putin’s personal billionaire palace on the web. His name kept popping up all week whenever a European statesman made contact with the Kremlin, which then pretended nothing of the sort occurred; in the evident belief that no comparison in stature could be drawn between the president and the opposition leader – a ludicrously unrealistic position which Nezavisimaya gazeta has mocked in its pages today.

The 40,000 who turned out to protest the detention of Naval’ny in Moscow has certainly impressed Russian journalists. What was deemed so unusual was the extent to which even motorists passing by waived their arms and shouted support. No one seems to be afraid any more. And this is a very delicate point for an authoritarian régime to reach,

Nezavisimaya gazeta connected with the protesters. Its editorial says very plainly that mass protests have now become “the new normal” and that the reasons for them are not just Naval’ny. The stagnation of incomes and the bleak outlook on the future lie behind the trouble. “Those in power should have no illusions”, the leader thunders, “that the material motives for discontent are what is really driving the protest with obvious potential for growth.”

To say that the attempted assassination of Naval’ny has boomeranged is an understatement. It is not an exaggeration to say that the Biden administration is really the third Obama administration and the Obama people – perhaps not Hillary, the ultimate source of the Russia hoax – turned very sour on Putin. Nothing has changed to improve that situation and the blow-up over Naval’ny has made matters worse. It is probably the only point of unity within the United States that Biden can count on. The consequences for the Kremlin are not encouraging.

Novaya gazeta, 25 January 2021:

Легко ли бить молодых?

Силовики громили мирные митинги по всему центру Москвы и не жалели журналистов

And Nezavisimaya gazeta, 24.01.2021 19:20:00

Навальный – повод, стагнация доходов и отсутствие перспектив – причина

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Протест в России как новая нормальность

24.01.2021 17:49:00

Кремль все-таки поставил Навального рядом с Путиным…

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Володин вернул думскую оппозицию к “крымскому консенсусу”

 Иван Родин
Заведующий отделом политики “Независимой газеты”