Greene: Putin's inability to say Navalny's name out loud is bordering on the absurd

PONARS Eurasia
21 Dec 2020

(RFE/RL) As he does, Russian President Vladimir Putin turned to a Soviet-era pop culture reference to get his message across at one point in his 4 1/2-hour annual press conference on December 17, when responding to the only reporter from a Western country that is not Iceland who got to ask a question. [...]

His remarks on the dead-serious matter of Navalny’s poisoning with a Novichok nerve agent seemed to be cast in a surreal, less-than-serious light by Putin’s long-standing refusal to utter the anti-corruption crusader’s name -- a choice or habit that Sam Greene, a Russia analyst and director of the Russia Institute at King's College London, described as “bordering on the absurd.” [...]

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