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“Everyone on the red list”: Can Navalny’s widow save the opposition against Putin in Russia?


Highlights: “Everyone on the red list’: Can Navalny’s widow save the opposition against Putin in Russia?. “We are all on thered list and are a species on the verge of extinction,” said journalist and democracy activist Dschanna Nemtsova. Navalnaya's popularity in Russia is still uncertain, says political analyst Tatjana Stanovaya. But a lack of international recognition within Russia could harm her effectiveness, she says.

As of: February 21, 2024, 5:06 a.m

By: Alexandra Heidsiek




With Alexei Navalny's death, Russia's opposition has lost its champion.

Now his widow Julia wants to follow in his footsteps.

Can this work?

Munich – The daughter of the murdered Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov, Dschanna Nemtsova, fears an end to the Russian opposition.

“We are all on the red list and are a species on the verge of extinction,” said the journalist and democracy activist in an interview with the American magazine


at the Munich Security Conference.

Dissidentism is too dangerous for most people.

A few days earlier, Alexei Navalny, President Putin's greatest nemesis, died under unclear circumstances in a penal colony north of the Arctic Circle.

Navalnaya demands: We have to fight for a free Russia

Julija Navalnaya (r) also spoke to the European foreign ministers.

© picture alliance/dpa/Belga/Dirk Waem

Julia Navalnaya, an economist and Navalny's wife, seems to see it differently.

In a video address on Navalny's social media channels on Monday (February 19), she addressed her audience with fiery words.

“I will continue Alexei Navalny’s task,” she said there.

One must “fight against war, against corruption, against injustice.

For fair elections and freedom of speech." For "a Russia - a free, peaceful, happy - wonderful Russia of the future that my husband dreamed of so much.

That's what we need."

But is Navalnaya a possible replacement for her husband?

Can she become the new beacon of dissidents in his place?

In fact, women in Russia are currently doing a lot of the protest work.

According to data from the human rights organization


in 2022, almost half of those arrested at anti-war demonstrations were women.

They organize themselves into groups to distribute conspiratorial newspapers, paint posters, and swap price tags in the supermarket.

Last but not least, the comparison with Svetlana Tichanowskaya comes to mind, who was able to generate so much support in the presidential elections in Belarus in 2020 that she had to flee abroad to escape Lukashenko's revenge.

After Navalny's death, Russia's opposition needs a common denominator

But the Belarus of 2020 is not Russia.

Russian Kremlin critics are too fragmented to speak of a real opposition.

Navalny couldn't unite them either: he repelled many leftists with his nationalism, and his populist rhetoric didn't go far enough for others.

In addition, he lacked both the structures and the political resources for a real power struggle, said political scientist Dmitri Oreshkin in an interview with the independent portal

Novaya Gazeta Europe


In prison, Navalny still served as a symbol of hope for many.

The journalist Ilya Azar wrote on his Telegram channel: “It is as if an irrational belief lived in me as long as Navalny was still alive [...].

But now it’s over, all that’s left is desperation.”

Political scientist Fyodor Krasheninnikov called Navalnaya an “exciting and powerful person”


Novaya Gazeta .

Nevertheless, he remains undecided as to whether it can bring Russia's dissidents together.

Anyone who was previously unable to get used to the ideas of Navalny's colleagues from his anti-corruption foundation may be able to identify better with Navalnaya, the scientist explained.

To do this, however, she would have to be recognized as a new voice of the opposition by the leading figures critical of the Kremlin.

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Navalnaya's popularity in Russia is still uncertain

Russian political analyst Tatjana Stanovaya also sees this as a problem.

Navalnaya may have international recognition.

But a lack of support within Russia could harm their effectiveness.

How popular she will be among Russian Kremlin opponents will also depend on her developing her own political style and putting together a professional team, said Stanovaya.

Presidential elections will take place in Russia from March 15 to 17.

Navalny's team had called for a protest.

Under the slogan “Noon against Putin,” everyone who disagrees with Putin’s continued term in office should go to the polls at the same time – on March 17 at 12 p.m.

Meanwhile, Yulia Navalnaya asked the EU foreign ministers not to recognize the elections in a speech: “Putin wants the whole world to believe that everyone in Russia supports him and admires him.

Don’t believe the propaganda.”


Source: merkur

All news articles on 2024-02-21

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