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Thread: Putin's arch-enemy to run for President

  1. #1
    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
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    Putin's arch-enemy to run for President

    Aleksei Navalny, a famous Russian Opposition leader, announces today that he will run for President in 2018


    MOSCOW — Aleksei A. Navalny, the most vocal critic of the Kremlin, announced on Tuesday his intention to run for president of Russia, though he is facing a court trial that could make him ineligible to participate in the campaign.

    “There have been no true elections in Russia since 1996, and this is one of the reasons of our plight,” Mr. Navalny said in a video statement, posted on his new campaign website. “I will participate in the election, and I will fight for victory.”

    Apart from Mr. Navalny, only Grigory A. Yavlinsky, the leader of the liberal party Yabloko, has declared his intention to run for the post. President Vladimir V. Putin has deflected questions about his own candidacy, saying it is too early to talk about it. But he is widely expected to run and, in light of his soaring approval ratings and control over the news media, is expected to win.

    The vote is scheduled to take place in March 2018.

    A lawyer by training, Mr. Navalny, 40, emerged as Russia’s most prominent opposition politician on the wave of public protests that followed parliamentary elections in 2011, seen by many as flawed.

    But as Mr. Navalny’s popularity was surging, Russian investigators got busy, filing a number of criminal cases that rights advocates have dismissed as politically motivated. In 2013, a court in the provincial Russian town of Kirov convicted Mr. Navalny on charges of embezzling timber worth $500,000 from a state-owned company and sentenced him to five years in prison.

    A few months later, the sentence was suspended but the criminal conviction barred Mr. Navalny from running for office — the outcome that Mr. Navalny and others say was the government’s goal from the beginning.

    In the meantime, Mr. Navalny garnered more than 27 percent of the vote in a race for mayor of Moscow, a better result than any other open critic of the Kremlin in a major election since Mr. Putin assumed office in 1999. That Mr. Navalny was even allowed to run was seen as an attempt by the Kremlin to make the election look more legitimate.

    In November, Russia’s Supreme Court overturned Mr. Navalny’s criminal conviction after the European Court of Human Rights ruled in February that Russian courts had violated his right to a fair trial. While Mr. Navalny is free for the moment to campaign, the criminal case will be retried by a court in Kirov, which could reinstate the conviction and again bar him from office.

    Mr. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, told RBC, a Russian news website, that the Kremlin had no comment on Mr. Navalny’s announcement.

    Over the years, Mr. Navalny has repeatedly accused Mr. Putin and members of his inner circle of rampant corruption, and has been tolerated as long as he does not seem to pose a serious threat.

    In his statement, Mr. Navalny promised to raise the issue of official corruption during the campaign.

    “The Kremlin and the government are only worried about solving their own financial issues,” Mr. Navalny said in the video. “I will discuss what everybody is silent about, but what has to be said for a long time.”
    Aleksei Navalny, Putin Critic, Says He’ll Run for President of Russia

    The article above has the same video, but with English subtitles.

    Navalny is an interesting guy. "Liberal", sure, "pro-Western", sure, in his way, but he understands the limits and drawbacks of that position, within Russian society, and knows exactly how far he can or cannot go on vital issues.

    For example, he has ruled out, back in October 2014, returning Crimea to Ukraine, ever:

    In a rare interview with the Russian news media this week, the anticorruption blogger Aleksei A. Navalny antagonized some of his fellow liberals by appearing to rule out the return of the Crimean peninsula to Ukraine.

    Asked by the editor of the Ekho Moskvy radio station, Aleksei Venediktov, if he agreed with the popular nationalist slogan, “Crimea Is Ours!” Mr. Navalny hedged. “Crimea belongs to the people who live in Crimea,” he said, according to a translation from The Interpreter, a website financed by the Russian dissident Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s foundation.

    “I think that despite the fact that the Crimea was seized with outrageous violations of all international norms, nevertheless, the realities are such that Crimea is now part of the Russian Federation,” Mr. Navalny added. “So let’s not kid ourselves. And I advise the Ukrainians not to kid themselves, either. It will remain part of Russia and will never become part of Ukraine in the foreseeable future.”

    Pressed on whether he would try to return Crimea to Ukraine in the event he became Russia’s president, Mr. Navalny, who finished a strong second in the race for Moscow’s mayor last year, asked rhetorically, “What, is the Crimea a ham sandwich or something that you can take and give it back?”

    He answered: “No, I don’t believe so.”
    Navalny’s Comments on Crimea Ignite Russian Twittersphere

    But, yeah, he has challenged Putin and his government on many occasions, over corruption, rigged elections, all that kind of nasty stuff.

    Been detained and arrested at many illegal demonstrations




    And been attacked by pro-Putin thugs, including men who threw a cake in his face in Moscow: Opposition Leader Navalny Targeted In Cake Attack

    And angry Cossacks who beat him and his supporters after pelting them with milk bags, in Krasnodar, in the South: Russia's Cossacks assault Putin critic Alexei Navalny - AJE News

    lol

    He was also close to the late Boris Nemtsov...


    Navalny has plenty of support, at least in the capital itself.

    In 2013, he scored a whopping 27% of the vote in the Moscow Mayor Election, even in spite of the obvious rigging in favor of Putin's man, Sergey Sobyanin: Alexei Navalny Scores High Result in Moscow Mayor Elections - SPIEGEL ONLINE

    I have heard it said that if that election was NOT rigged, Navalny would be Mayor of Moscow today...

    And this was after, that same year, as the article says, the court in Kirov sentenced him to 5 years on the likely trumped-up embezzlement charges


    The sentence was, later, withdrawn, after mass protests in Moscow by Navalny supporters, which led to scuffles with security forces and numerous arrests


    Arrests As Navalny Conviction Ignites Russian Protests

    Most recently, Navalny has targeted the newly appointed Central Election Commission chief, Ella Pamfilova, over alleged falsifications in the nationwide Duma (parliament) elections in September: Navalny Calls On Russian Elections Chief To Quit Over 'Falsifications'

    But he is always dragging out the dirty laundry of Russia's rich and powerful elites.

    For example, he has published evidence, on his blog, of Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov spending 40,000,000 rubles ($650,000) a year to fly his DOGS around on a private jet

    Keep in mind the average Russian school teacher, for example, earns 40,000 rubles a month (70,000 in Moscow)...

    Basically, he is a constant pain in Putin's butt lol Too popular to jail him. Or, frankly, even to kill him, like Nemtsov... If Navalny were to get shot, I dare it just may ignite a Russian Maidan. Which, frankly, is why he is still alive, in my opinion. Putin has managed to discredit him out in the provinces, most there swallow the TV propaganda that he is a traitor and Western stooge (and so are ALL liberals); but in Moscow itself, the educated people, the intelligentsia, the students in universities, they all support Navalny, or most do, at least.

    Which, however, will not help him win a Presidential election (assuming Putin does not, still, somehow prevent him from running, which I am NOT ruling out). He will need to find a way to appeal to the provincials and working class folks too...

    He does have one thing going for him, in that regard: family values.

    At least, he actually HAS a normal, Russian family

    unlike Putin, who is always seemingly alone, divorced from wife, running around with some secret mistresses, nobody knows where all his kids are...

    Aleksei and his wife are said to be Orthodox Christian believers too

    Visiting the ancient wooden church at Kizhi: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kizhi_Pogost

    This could play in his favor with the rural and provincial base.

    In any case, he'd be a dangerous opponent for Putin. I have no doubt the Kremlin would try to, somehow, keep him out of the race. We shall see what happens. Very, very interesting.
    Thanks from cable2, Friday13 and RedCloud

  2. #2
    Inside Your Heads syrenn's Avatar
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    i see a lot of dead people turning up....

  3. #3
    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by syrenn View Post
    i see a lot of dead people turning up....
    I doubt it would lead to that. Unless that big unrest some Oppositioners keep promising for 2017 does materialize. That could go bloody indeed. Worse than the Kiev Maidan... Putin is not a guy who'd give up his power peacefully...

  4. #4
    Inside Your Heads syrenn's Avatar
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    thats what meant.... i think a lot of putin opposition is going to turn up dead

  5. #5
    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by syrenn View Post
    thats what meant.... i think a lot of putin opposition is going to turn up dead
    It all depends on the various military and security forces, and whether they would follow all his orders to the end. If, indeed, it comes to that, time will tell...

  6. #6
    Conservative Goddess Bronwyn's Avatar
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    I doubt Russia will have a Brexit.

  7. #7
    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brony View Post
    I doubt Russia will have a Brexit.
    Well, yeah... Russia has nowhere really to "exit" from... Their last "exit" was in 1991. That's about it.
    Thanks from EnigmaO01

  8. #8
    Conservative Goddess Bronwyn's Avatar
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    The only thing they can do is hold an election and throw out the current leadership. Kinda like what Americans did.

  9. #9
    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brony View Post
    The only thing they can do is hold an election and throw out the current leadership. Kinda like what Americans did.
    Lets hope they will be able to do that.
    Thanks from Bronwyn and EnigmaO01

  10. #10
    Veteran Member Dr.Knuckles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brony View Post
    The only thing they can do is hold an election and throw out the current leadership. Kinda like what Americans did.
    Mmmmmm. Not quite.

    Americans walked happily to the voting booth and voted for whoever they liked without a care in the world for what might be happening to their kids brains and intestines back at home. As in - spread out on the carpet next to a bloody mallet.

    I wouldn't say they'll vote Putin out EXACTLY like a Americans did.

    That one man is too popular to kill. The local volunteer ballot counter... and his mum.... and his daughter... not so much.
    Thanks from The Man and Friday13

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