(Moscow Times) Many now consider “Putin’s Palace” — that jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny exposed in a YouTube video that has garnered more than 80 million views in a matter of days — as a symbol of the ruling regime, and the black-garbed riot police attacking protesters as the method by which the president plans to deal with dissent. The unauthorized demonstrations that were held in cities across Russia on Saturday saw not only the largest protest crowds in years, but also the harshest and cruelest response by the authorities.
The brutality of the riot police was not so much a response to any perceived threat from the peaceful protesters as it was an expression of the frantic fear of the Kremlin at Navalny’s decision to return to Russia and the release of his damning video exposé. […]
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