There is still bad news from Russia for the champions of liberal democracy. According to a survey conducted by the Levada Center, an independent research institute, the Russians’ approval of Vladimir Putin’s main opponent, Alexei Navalny, who survived the attempted poisoning (the Kremlin accuses of it) collapsed and ended up in prison. Imprisoned for two and a half years for the old fraud.
Only 14% of respondents approved of Navalny’s activities, down sharply from 20% last year and 19% at the beginning of 2021. 62% said they disapproved of the activities of dissidents, a figure that grew by 12 percentage points as of September 2020. At the beginning of the month In June, the judiciary blacklisted subversive groups – thus excluding them from the upcoming September elections – political and pro-Navy networks. In fact these are peaceful opposition movements but public opinion does not care: 32% said they agreed with the judges’ decision while 27% said they did not agree with the ruling.
41% of respondents were indifferent to the question. Europe has taken the Navalny case seriously, even if Alexei’s political positions on closer examination are not very far from those of his enemy in the Kremlin. Navalny also agrees to the annexation of Crimea, and in fact would not mind the restoration of Ukraine and Belarus either. At the beginning of his career he was more resolute than Salvini against illegal immigration, but since the West elected him as its hero in Moscow he began to speak to the European-American audience; Hence the appreciation of the anti-racist struggle of the Black Lives Matter movement (but Putin himself does not miss an opportunity to report on racial problems in the United States).
The only difference is that the loser was betting heavily on denouncing corruption. The people of Al-Ula followed him on this. But in the end, the majority of Russians assert that they want to be ruled by the most powerful politician on the scene, regardless of ideologies. To turn things around, the Kremlin will need Putin more than Putin.