As the correspondent of The Moscow Post reports, yesterday the controversial opposition politician Alexey Navalny, who had been visiting the Charite Clinic in Berlin for about five months, returned to Russia.
He was immidiately detained in Sheremetyevo at passport control. Then, few minutes later, he was declared a prisoner of conscience by the Russian branch of Amnesty International (which performs the functions of a foreign agent on the territory of the Russian Federation). It is difficult to take this as anything other than an outright farce.
Navalny's return beginning from Charite to Berlin airport was accompanied by unprecedented media support from the liberal media. Live broadcasts were made even from the plane, and in Vnukovo, where the airliner was supposed to land, they almost staged an opposition rally. Navalny waited and hoped for the show, but it still did not work out.
Navalny was detained on the basis of the decision of the Head of the Federal Penitentiary Service in Moscow, according to which Navalny was wanted for the systematic violation of probation. FPS noted that the lawyer of the detainee was aware of this decision, that is, everyone knew everything. Lenta.ru writes about it.
Moreover, the plane landed not in Vnukovo, as expected, but in Sheremetyevo, where Navalny also found supporters, but there was no mass support. However, it was not found in Vnukovo either. After all, according to various sources, only about 300 people came to meet the opposition leader. And this is from the entire 15-million Moscow and the region, plus those who specially came to see their leader from other regions?
Waited for a long time at home
As for the detention, the reason for absence of the opposition leader was very prosaic. Earlier, Alexey Navalny received a suspended sentence in the Yves Rocher case, and was on probation after its completion. But instead of being registered in the Federal Penitentiary Service, Alexey Anatolyevich lived quietly in Germany. He gave interviews to the Western press about how he was going to "restore" "legality" in Russia.
This is the kind of legality he is apparently going to restore — not to appear within the time limit established by law and the court. For those who do not remember, Mr. Navalny and his brother Oleg were found guilty of committing embezzlement by deception of funds of Yves Rocher Vostok LLC and Multi-profile Processing Company LLC, as well as money legalization.
If Navalny hoped that the crowd would go to repel him from law enforcement officers, he greatly miscalculated
Why, in this case, is Navalny returning to Russia — is this a gesture of bravery, as his supporters tried to imagine? The fact is that outside of Russia, Navalny cannot be a politician, especially a public and popular politician. Outside of Russia, he is not needed by his possible Western curators, under whose strict guidance, as many experts believe, the whole story of poisoning and accusations against Russia could be "performed".
What, in that case, did he expect at all, after arrival? The show, of course. And the show was to continue regardless of the outcome. Navalny thought or even hoped that the authorities would show weakness, be afraid to detain him because of activists and Western media. They weren't afraid.
In another case, he could hope that his detention would end in a huge scandal, riots of his supporters. And that they will generally take him away from the police, putting themselves outside the law on the same scale as the opposition leader and his most scandalous associates — Vladimir Milov, Leonid Volkov, Lyubov Sobol.
The latter, in his absence, also did not sit idle — she was involved in a criminal case. Bordering on insanity. According to investigators, Sobol pretended to be an "abandoned wife with a small child" in order to get into the apartment of the person involved in the "investigation" about the poisoning of Alexey Navalny. This was written by RBC. Do they understand what they're doing? What "Beautiful Russia of the Future" are they fighting for?
Did Navalny hope that his detention would provoke a new international scandal? Moreover, as already mentioned above, as soon as he managed to set foot on Russian soil and be detained, he was declared a prisoner of conscience. What kind of prisoner of conscience is he, if there is a specific criminal case, procedural norms?
According to an Amnesty International release, Navalny became a "prisoner of conscience" and was detained for peaceful political activities and exercising the right to freedom of opinion. Fontanka writes about it. Such a formulation can deceive only a Western audience that is not familiar with the political realities and activities of a politician.
It is unclear what kind of political activity he managed to deploy during 10 minutes in Sheremetyevo. What did he fight against in order to detain him politically? Against corruption? Well, almost every second or even the first Russian politician is against corruption. And a real one, chosen by people, not bots on the Internet.
Another reason to suppose Navalny as the political "fighter" — the demand for a change of power in Russia. But it is not just Navalny who is demanding political change. There are also much more aggressive-minded figures who demand the same, forgetting about regular elections, including presidential ones. That is, it also looks like a frank farce and a desire to give himself significance.
And despite all these messages, no one is in a hurry to beat Navalny off. As already mentioned, there were barely 300 supporters in Sheremetyevo. Some of Navalists got it to the point that he decided to arrange a provocation before his arrival in different cities. For which they were detained for administrative violations. But even this did not cause any noise or uproar, which the blogger probably expected.
What happens next is probably the main question, not only for Navalny, but also for the authorities. They cannot release Navalny by law. There remains a preventive measure until a subsequent court decision. Navalny's supporters will never admit it, but they probably dream that Alexey will be locked up in some well-known pre-trial detention centre, so that later they can invent difficult conditions of detention and yell about it to the whole world. But, most likely, the government will not give them such joy.
The experts interviewed by us assume that house arrest will be chosen as a preventive measure for Alexey Navalny. A compromise option, in which the oppositionist will be isolated from society and his supporters, but will not receive the halo of a martyr-prisoner in the Kremlin dungeons. For Navalny, this is the worst option — it seems like there is no pressure on him, though he is cut off from communications. Cut off from the "donats".
About "donations" — this is the next act of the farce. After all, another criminal case has been opened against Navalny, about which he cannot but know — about fraud on a particularly large scale. The investigation believes that Navalny collected donations through the ACF, and collected almost 600 million rubles. However, allegedly 356 million rubles of them he could spend for personal purposes, including the purchase of property and material values. This is written by RIA Novosti.
And this is already a threat of a real term, if the version of the investigation is confirmed and proved. And another great reason for all international human rights organizations, Western embassies, especially the United States, to s about the prisoner of conscience. At the same time, in America, without any reason, anyone who is suspected of sympathizing with the outgoing head of State, Donald Trump, can be detained. Hypocrisy?
It is not difficult to assume that Navalny hopes for new sanctions against Russia, for increasing international pressure on our country due to his return. Not the most statist position. But there is no reason for Navalny to worry — his detention will not reduce or add anything. Sanctions will be imposed on our country in any case. Even if Navalny was greeted with fanfare and taken straight from the plane ramp to a festive dinner in the Kremlin.
While Navalny is under lock and key, will Yulia Navalnaya be made into a "Tikhanovskaya 2.0"?
What's next? "Tikhanovskaya 2.0". It is this option that is most likely being developed by technologists who are behind Navalny. Now, when under the weight of violation he will be detained in the near future, his lovely wife, Yulia Navalnaya will be moved in politics. She has everything for this — charisma, and a husband with problems with the law, engaged in political activities.
This option is being rolled in Belarus, but due to the fact that Tikhanovskaya is out of the country, it is very stalled. How it will go in Russia — we will find out soon.
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