September 01, 2012

A Cold Wind Blowing?

in late july, one of Russia’s most prominent opposition leaders, the non-partisan anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny, who possesses an acerbic sense of humor and movie star looks, was accused of embezzling 16 million rubles. He could face a multi-year jail term.

The move against Navalny is one of many signals late this summer that Vladimir Putin has had enough of protest shenanigans and is tightening the screws.

Navalny, who rose to prominence as an anti-Putin campaigner rather recently, after steadily growing the audience for his anti-corruption blog, was already accused once of causing material losses to a timber firm in Russia’s Kirov region. Several years ago, he served as an advisor to the region’s liberal governor, Nikita Belykh.

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