“No matter how much [Putin] tries to pose as a geopolitician, his main resentment toward me is that he will go down in history as a poisoner. There was Alexander the Liberator and Yaroslav the Wise. Now we’ll have Vladimir the Poisoner of Underpants. The police are guarding me and half of Moscow is cordoned off because we have shown that he is demanding to steal underwear from opponents and smear them with chemical weapons.”
Closing remarks from Alexi Navalny, from rolling Moscow Times coverage of the court session in Moscow underway now.
Have a guess what large, cold, former-Communist Eurasian country this quote comes from:
“Different statements about someone being afraid of someone else are absolutely nonsense.”
Russia is back on the blog after I posted a few photos of vintage Moscow last week. This time, it’s a bit of an explanation for the protests over the weekend, the biggest since the ones Hillary Clinton signaled in 2011.
Ten thousand or more young people took to the streets of the capital on Sunday, along with other protests across the country. I hadn’t been paying enough attention and all those people seemed to pop up out of nowhere. Not so, as an article by Julia Ioffe in The Atlantic explains. She puts the protests down to this video, from opposition figure Alexey Navalny:
As Ioffe says,
It showed, in great detail and using drone footage, what he said were the vast real-estate holdings of prime minister and former president Dmitry Medvedev, a man who talked of fighting corruption during his presidency and who in May told the residents of recently annexed Crimea, who are suffering from electricity and fuel shortages, “We don’t have the money now. … But you hang in there!”
Navalny says he will challenge Putin for the Presidency next time. It remains to be seen, of course, whether he will instead watch the presidential campaign from jail or perhaps house arrest instead. For his participation over the weekend, he is spending fifteen days in jail.
The opposition web site Meduza, based in Riga, Latvia in order to operate with less harassment, has extensive photo coverage from Moscow last Sunday.