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5 February 2021

What the arrest of Alexei Navalny means for Putin’s rule in Russia

Emily Tamkin and Ido Vock are joined from Moscow by Felix Light on the World Review podcast.

On his return to Russia from Germany, where he’d been recovering after being poisoned by a nerve agent, the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was arrested for criminal charges resurrected by the Kremlin from a years-old conviction. 

In the days since, peaceful protesters have taken to the streets demanding Navalny’s be released. There have been reports of police brutality against them. Does this mean trouble for Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin? 

On this week’s episode of World Review from the New Statesman, Emily Tamkin in Washington, DC and Ido Vock in Berlin are joined, from Moscow, by Felix Light, a reporter for the Moscow Times and a regular contributor to the New Statesman. 

They discuss the trial of Alexei Navalny, protest movements against Putin’s rule and what sanctions are available if Russia continues to flout international norms.

Further reading

Ido argues that, by returning to Russia and facing arrest, Alexei Navalny has put the Kremlin on the back foot.

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For background, read Felix Light’s piece explaining why, for Navalny, a comfortable life abroad was not an option.

Emily has been following the vote in Congress to strip the extremist congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene of her committee assignments. She’s written a piece exploring why Republicans have chosen to support Greene, who has promoted racist, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic views.

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