January 24, 2021

Meanwhile, In Russia:


It looks like mass demonstrations have spontaneously broken out all across Russia in protest of the jailing of a Russian opposition party leader named Alexi Nalvany who was  just arrested and jailed after returning from a trip trip to Germany. There is apparently concern for his safety since he was arrested, as he had been in Germany recovering from acute nerve agent poisoning he had contracted from his underwear (as one does). The Russian authorities refused to open an investigation into the attempted murder of a Russian citizen. Given the history of poisonings of Russian political opponents, this was particularly suss, and there seems to be genuine fear for his safety by his political supporters. 

This is not just around Moscow either. There are currently protests in 109 cities across the largest country on Earth and  I've heard reference to Vladivostok and Petropavlovsk in some of the video coverage. Also; according to the NYT article above, these protests are taking place in temperatures as low as minus 68 degrees Fahrenheit which would seem to indicate a certain level of passion and motivation on the part of the protestors. Over 3,000 people had been reported arrested as of 23:05 GMT

Hundreds of thousands of people are protesting  in hundreds cities in the largest country on the planet, which controls a large percentage of the worlds oil reserves and which has the largest nuclear arsenal on Earth....

This seems seems like it ought to be getting rather more coverage than it is here in the U.S.A. 

I do not know anything about Nalvany or how, in what is presented to us as a country with fairly strong social media control, he got such a following, but I'm very interested in finding out. Anyone who, you know,  speaks Russian or has insights into this situation...feel free to sound off in the comments. 

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 12:23 AM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
Post contains 312 words, total size 3 kb.

1 This is one of those times when I wished World Affairs Journal had not completely vaporized.  They had good commentators who could explain issues like Nalvany situation.

Posted by: cxt217 at Sun Jan 24 13:04:56 2021 (4i7w0)

2 Navalnyi is a piece of poop. But it's not a reason enough to poison him. BTW, when Putin ordered a hit of a retired terrorist living a good life in Germany, his contractor used a gun (Glock 26). So it's not always and exclusively poisonings.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Sun Jan 24 16:48:33 2021 (LZ7Bg)

3 What, in particular, is pooperifferous about him? Jackass or not, he certainly seems to be tapping into some public concerns. 

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Sun Jan 24 21:21:24 2021 (5iiQK)

4 My familiarity with Navalnyi goes back some 20 years to the days when he was a blogger. Or, actually, he started as a fairly typical small-time entrepreneur of dubious repute. However, he somehow managed to turn his poor luck at shady dealings into a conflict with the corrupt politicians. He very soon realized that it was more lucrative and the rest is history.

A friend of mine, being dissatisfied with the brutal and corrupt regime of Putin, tried to make me read Navalnyi's posts. It was a complete garbage. But it worked great on people in thrall of his charisma.

I didn't want to bring all this up because it was a long time ago and my memory is often faulty. However, two days ago a court ordered Navalnyi to prison for violations of the terms of his parole. It was an absolute circus like you would not believe it. Navalnyi was raving like a lunatic, screeching in disbelief that they can apply laws to his esteemed persona.

Back in 2013, when his corruption seemingly caught up with Navalnyi, he was sentenced to 5 years. But he didn't serve any time, because laws are for the little people. This sentence was commuted to parole. While on parole, he managed to get into some other trouble with the law, and yet again he didn't do the time. This time it went like this:

JUDGE: Mr. Navalnyi, please explain why you neglected to meet your parole officer in 2019.
NAVALNYI: He dared to ask me to come on Monday but I'm an adult, I have my own life! Thursday was more convenient for me!
JUDGE: So, you realized that you're violating the rules of parole and continued to do so, is that correct?
NAVALNYI (yelling): I don't give shit about your rules or you parole!

It was just absurd. Navalnyi's entitlement can rival that of Pelosi, but he was in front of a judge for crying out loud.

Interestingly enough, they didn't throw a book at him even now. He only got 2 years and 8 months, and will appeal yet again, I'm sure.

Navalnyi's crazy antics come in stark contrast with the late N. Nemtsov. Instead of spewing poorly sourced, poorly produced propaganda, the latter compiled an investigative report on Putin's ill-gotten wealth. I thought it was a more significant attack on the regime than mad ravings, but perhaps I was wrong. What's interesting, Nemtsov was supposedly killed by outraged Chechens, who were offended by the way Nemtsov mocked Ramzan Kadyrov, a brutal warlord who kept Chechnya in line for Putin. Kadyrov acolytes were known for such behavior, for example attacking some Swedish critic with hammers a few years ago. Moscow office of criminal prosecutor managed to find the killers, but of course rumors circulated that Putin architected the assassination through his friend Kadyrov.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Tue Feb 2 22:24:17 2021 (LZ7Bg)

5 Or.. you know how every folk get the government they deserve? I think they also get the dissidents they deserve. That is why Nemtsov is dead and Navalnyi is not.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Wed Feb 3 11:53:05 2021 (LZ7Bg)

6 You may have something there, Pete.  Good background on Navalnyi, thanks for that.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Wed Feb 3 18:05:28 2021 (PiXy!)

7 Thanks Pete I've found it hard to find English language sources on him.

He's being presented in the media here as some sort of heroic reformer to the extent he's reported on at all. 

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Wed Feb 3 19:10:34 2021 (5iiQK)

8 He is a heroic reformer, by the logic of the events. Imagine being idolized this much. It's not like he's got a choice.
In addition, here's a Russian joke:
Guy A: It's unbelievable how corrupt politicians are these days. I'm going to run for office?
Guy B: Do you want to end corruption?
Guy A: No way, I want to take part in it!

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Wed Feb 3 23:02:35 2021 (LZ7Bg)

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