Voice of America quotes Eurasia Center Director John Herbst on the sentencing of Russian political activist Alexei Navalny:
John Herbst, director of the Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center and a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, appeared to agree with that view, saying the verdict clearly shows that Putin won’t tolerate citizens “who can effectively oppose the autocratic and kleptocratic policy of the Kremlin.”
“When Michael Khodorkovsky in Putin’s eyes was becoming a credible political opponent, he was arrested on trumped charges. Now, this is happening with Navalny. In fact, Navalny has been the most dynamic person in Russia who has opposed the policies of Kremlin,” Herbst said.
Herbst views Oleg’s sentence as reminiscent of the Soviet era, when the government would pressure political opponents by arresting their family members.
“Mr. Putin was a member of the KGB and he retains the characteristics of a KGB operative,” the former U.S. ambassador said.