Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was immediately detained by authorities upon his return to Russia on January 17, nearly five months after Kremlin agents attempted to poison him. Just two days later, Navalny’s team released a two-hour documentary video that exposed the staggering corruption undertaken by President Vladimir Putin on his rise to power, punctuated by the $1 billion palace Putin built for himself with his graft. This video has garnered over 95 million views on YouTube. Navalny’s arrest sparked peaceful protests throughout Russia that have been met by a heavy police hand and thousands of arrests. Just how strong is Navalny’s opposition movement? And how will the Kremlin respond to the most significant rebuke of its power in years?
Dr. Anders Åslund, resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, Vladimir Kara-Murza, chairman of the Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom and vice president of the Free Russia Foundation, Vladimir Milov, Russian opposition politician and an economic adviser to Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and Dr. Maria Snegovaya, nonresident fellow at the Eurasia Center, join to assess what Navalny’s return means for Russia and the country’s opposition movement. Ambassador John Herbst, director of the Eurasia Center, moderates.
The Kremlin and the Russian people
Russia was the dominant republic in the former Soviet Union and took tentative steps toward an open society and market economy in the 1990s. But during the early 2000s, under leader Vladimir Putin, its direction changed. At the end of the 1990s, this quasi-democracy pivoted to an authoritarian direction.
Thu, Mar 18, 2021
Moscow police raided a conference of independent municipal lawmakers on March 13 in a move that marks an escalation in the Kremlin crackdown on political opposition ahead of September elections.
Sun, Mar 14, 2021
Moscow sees its space future with China and not the United States, further underscoring its growing strategic alignment with Beijing. The Biden administration must reflect on how the latest Sino-Russian collaboration should be factored into its emerging approach to Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
Inflection Points by Frederick Kempe
Tue, Feb 16, 2021
Putin the Poisoner: Russian President Vladimir Putin has adopted a poisonous approach to international politics in a bid to defend his own authoritarian regime by dividing, discrediting, and destabilizing the democratic world.
UkraineAlert by Peter Dickinson
The Eurasia Center’s mission is to enhance transatlantic cooperation in promoting stability, democratic values and prosperity in Eurasia, from Eastern Europe and Turkey in the West to the Caucasus, Russia and Central Asia in the East.