(Washington Post) Alexei Navalny, the opposition leader who returned to Russia last week after recovering in Berlin from an attempt on his life involving a military nerve agent, presented Russian President Vladimir Putin with a stark choice. Putin could bolster his grip on power by silencing Navalny, but further chip away at the remaining vestiges of the country’s democracy — or tolerate him at the risk of losing command of the country, if the opposition he led swelled.
The Russian president chose the former, jailing Navalny and setting off an avalanche. As many as 120,000 people took to the streets over the weekend. That’s not significantly more than have protested in recent years, but the tone of the protests was markedly different. […]
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Co-author: Samuel Greene