March 01, 2021

Tipping Point?

Tipping Point?
Unsanctioned January demonstration in St. Petersburg. TRAVERSOSPINALES

Just over a decade ago in Moscow, I interviewed Alexey Navalny, who was then only beginning to carve out his profile as a blogger, activist, and politician. It was May of 2008. Russia was benefiting hugely from the oil boom, and President Vladimir Putin had just castled over to the position of prime minister, placing Dmitry Medvedev in the role of president.

There was a general feeling of political resignation in the air. I asked Navalny how long he thought it would be before things changed. He was not optimistic.

“You know, the majority of the population, and even a significant portion of the liberal-oriented people and democrats, feels that nothing needs to be done…”

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