“Alexei Navalny and the Cycle of Russian Protest” Maxim Trudolyubov, The Atlantic, 15 June 2017


1,500 people were detained on Russia’s Independence Day for protesting the government. Of those 1,500 people was the leader of the protest himself: Alexei Navalny. Navalny has thus far tried his best to stay within the legal confines of the government while protesting in order to avoid appearing as another revolutionary in a land that has experienced too many revolutions. While this may have been the strategy in the past, Navalny is interested in breaking out of the legal confines and making himself part of the next election. Many Russian citizens support Putin simply because they do not see another choice. Navalny wants to be that choice. He wants to run as the candidate who is looking to give the voiceless a voice and as a leader against corruption. His Anti-Corruption Foundation already has a large following thanks to the foundation’s large social media presence and to revealing documentaries such as the  Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev exposé. Moving forward, Navalny will need to tread carefully while trying to break into mainstream politics. The Independence Day protests have already garnered some criticism due to the fact that he put his followers at risk of being jailed due to changing the venue to an unauthorized location. Other critics claim that Navalny is nothing more than a surrogate of the Kremlin.  He seems to get away with things that if done by any other protester, would result in extreme consequences. This time around Navalny did manage to procure himself thirty days in jail. Only time will tell.

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“Alexei Navalny and the Cycle of Russian Protest” Maxim Trudolyubov, The Atlantic, 15 June 2017


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