Even unconscious, Alexei Navalny has managed to needle the Kremlin and its allies. His organization, the Anti-Corruption Foundation, released a video on Monday that featured footage of Mr. Navalny denouncing corrupt pro-Kremlin politicians during a recent trip to the Siberian city of Novosibirsk. He named 18 local legislators who he said had suspiciously intimate ties to a construction industry notorious for corruption, The Times reports:
“All domestic politics are now seen as a reflection of foreign threats,” said Ekaterina Schulmann, a political scientist and a former member of the Kremlin’s human rights council who was ousted from the body last year in a purge of independent-minded members. “This perception is not entirely new, but has reached unprecedented dimensions in recent years.” She added: “The view that everything in the world is a battleground between great powers is the belief and religion of Russia’s ruling elite at the moment.”
Germany Says Navalny Poisoned By Novichok Nerve Agent, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty adds.
“Nobody inspires such hostility and fear as Navalny,” Nikolai Petrov, a senior research fellow at Chatham House in London, told The Times:
This, he added, means there is a very long list of potential enemies who might want him dead, or least incapacitated. But, he added, Mr. Navalny is such a high-profile target that no one with a personal grudge would move against him without at least the tacit assent of Mr. Putin.
“It is like the mafia: Nothing can be done without the approval and guarantee of impunity of the boss,” he said. “I am not saying Putin gave a direct order to poison him, but nobody can act unless they are sure that the boss will be happy and won’t punish them.”