Mysteries at the Kremlin: between plotting and strategy

The Russian President Vladimir Putin on the left and Alexej Navalny on the right

Hidden plots among Russian political leaders, according to newspapers and mass media, would be nothing new in matters of internal policies and opposition of parties: it’s no coincidence (or, at least, it’s believed not to be completely accidental) that, over the years, many emerging figures – especially those who fought against crime and conspiracies of silence in the environment of Russian Kremlin – have been victims of intimidation and sometimes even of homicide. It suffices to think about Alexander Litvinenko’s case (2006) – a brilliant British-naturalised Russian defector that had worked for many years against terrorism and crime, who suddenly lost his life due to polonium-210 poisoning in London under unclear circumstances – or Sergej Skripal’s assassination attempt with a toxic nerve agent after his supposed treason against Russian authorities (2018): notable examples of “mysterious” political events, even though the information about them is still faded and very general even these days.

A similar path seems to have been paved for Alexej Navalny this summer, as it is thought that he was presumably poisoned in Tomsk’s airport and that this brought him to experience a one-month coma at the hospital. In order to understand the recent accusations made by Navalny to President Vladimir Putin, it should be probably mentioned that he is a member of the opposition and his ideology appears to be extremely distant from that widespread in Russia. As an exponent of the Democratic party and leading activist, in his programme we can find anti-corruption campaigns, investigations on money transfers and even the approval of homosexual marriage (a very open minded concept in the eastern context). For all these reasons, suspicions have fallen on Putin – as Navalny himself declared – because it was at first believed that the President could not bear the campaigner’s assiduity.

However, it is also true that Navalny has a great number of followers – he is a blogger, too – and this episode, despite the unpleasant consequences of the poisoning, brought him under the spotlight, a convenient move for his political measures and his “protection”. Thus, while the activist blames Putin – without any actual clue a part from his own assumption – and plans a fast recovery, people begin to think more analytically and disprove Putin’s involvement in these events, also considering the lack of information that, for now, has emerged from this topic and the concrete proofs of the recent claims.

On second thought, it should be considered that the President is effectively busy in more urgent state matters, and poison or murder perhaps are not his priorities at the moment. Russian people are convinced of that and prefer not to take a position about Navalny-Putin controversial and unclear situation. “For me, it was not our President to poison Alexej Nalvalny.” – says Evelina, a GG1 from Russia, that followed the debate in these weeks – “He has more important problems to deal with, such as the real hunger that Russian people experience, misery or surviving the cold.”

After all, doubts still exist; Navalny will probably continue his campaign and newspapers will update us on the situation. However, a deeper analysis of these events surely leads to the awareness that, in such ambiguous circumstances, political move and plotting could be misunderstood or even strategically devised and that we shall not judge “from the surface”, but, perhaps as the most important acknowledgement, it must not be forgotten that other important problems affect Russian Federation.

The Russian President Vladimir Putin on the left and Alexej Navalny on the right

The Russian President Vladimir Putin on the left and Alexej Navalny on the right

Navalny’s post on Instagram after he woke up from his coma

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