1. Taleweaver

    OP Taleweaver Storywriter
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    I thought about posting a thread before, but it seems like the situation's getting ever crazier each week...

    Lemme see if I can recap it chronologically...

    We all know Vladimir Putin is Russia's president, right? While in theory the country's a democracy, Russia is in effect really a dictatorship. Ever since Yeltsin stepped down in early 2000, Putin has either been president or prime minister (with Dmitry Medvedev filling the other role...and it's a public secret he's really just Putin's puppet).

    Has there been political opposition? Yes. Sort of. But thus far, nothing really serious. I'll admit it wasn't much my cup of tea (what can I say? I don't even speak the language). But tensions are really rising.

    Enter Alexai Navalny. A major leader of protests against Putin for quite some years. As a result, he was trialed for alledgedly stealing 500'000$, which he - of course - denied. His detainment hasn't stopped protests and riots. Perhaps that was what caused authorities to change his sentence to a suspended one? I don't really know. But some time later he was poisoned. Well...Russian doctors didn't find anything, so he was flewn over to Germany where they (alledgedly) found out he was poisoned with nerve gas. On Putin's orders, according to Navalny (note: Putin's government has denied any involvement).

    When he got back - this is a couple weeks ago - he was promptly arrested. Reason according to the Kremlin: flying to Germany counts as a violation of parole.

    Result: riots. Massive riots. And for good reason: while the origin of the poisoning is at least speculation, flat out arresting someone for getting their illness treated isn't something a neutral party would do. Many Russians are PISSED at this.

    ...which brings us to the most recent news: despite massive protests and riots (with over 5'000 arrests), Navalny's sentenced for 2.8 years effective in prison for that initial crime (meaning: it's no longer suspended).

    More protests and riots are certain to happen in the very near future.



    Why am I making this thread about this? Well, because it's world news, obviously. But also: I have no idea whether or not anyone on gbatemp even knows who Navalny is in the first place (there's plenty of discussion on US politics and a bit on the UK, but other than that it's pretty silent).

    So...what do you think of this? Did you knew about any of this? Do you care whether or not Russia's a democracy in more than 'just' the name?

    (main source: link)
     
  2. susi91

    susi91 GBAtemp Regular
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    I think the whole (poisoning) story is bs.
    The real story is about selling US fracking gas, while banning the much cheaper and much better ru stuff^^
    Same shit like all the other EU sanctions against russia.
     
  3. notimp

    notimp Well-Known Member
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    Didnt research, just the stuff I've read - or seen over time.

    Navalny is kind of a young dynamic populist. His political programs are 'fight corruption', his M.O. is to go into poorer neighborhoods, telling people the name of the socialized living settlement/building he grew up in, then telling people, that they are living in said conditions, because of corruption - then encouraging them, that they could do better - by voting for him in the next elections. His following started out being mainly young folks, but has grown quite sizeable in the recent past.

    On his way to 'challenge the standing political system' he has exposed pretty much every function of political suppression in russia there is, he's been accused of criminal wrongdoing, just so he couldnt run for certain offices, and everything I've seen about the legal recourse proceedings spells 'farce'. This includes media reporting on the case in russia.

    On the other hand, Navalny is frequently used as a person of interest, or as an example for the repressiveness of the current political elite within russia, mainly by people with ties to transatlantic organizations and thinktanks. Havent looked into his financing - but wouldnt be suprised in the least, if the Putin government had a point there, and part of the organisations financing would come through similar channels, and not only from disgruntled former heads of business who got ousted by the Putin regime. Could be me eating up russian propaganda - but everyone in the west likes him as a posterboy.

    On the attack on his life - https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-...icated-in-murders-of-three-russian-activists/ and some journalist collectives went on a data crawl, and identified high intesity traffic between high level security officials in russia prior to certain events in certain places related to his poisoning.

    Source of the data afair was the russian dark market for location metadata.

    In Russia those operations usually are planned if you need to silence someone that could become an issue politically, often with ominous 'symbolism' attached that keeps the myth alive, that those things happen to people that dont play ball. Whoever might have ordered the operation, there always is plausible deniability attached - if Putin needed to know, or was in the know - none of us will be able to tell for sure. If 'national security' is concerned - a bunch of apparatchiks could have ordered it, maybe even to prove a point or to get higher on the career ladder, who knows.

    The "Putins palace" story that was recently released by Navalnys followers also is highly amusing in as much, as one of Putins former Judo pals had to step forward and just announced, that - no, no, grave mistake - its his palace...
    https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2021...naire-arkady-says-he-owns-putin-palace-a72783

    That was guarded by FSB personal, when Reuters journalists dropped by (didnt find the original story, but found this: https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2021...s-putins-palace-from-nato-intelligence-a72746 ).

    Also something thats interesting is, that Navalnys plane back to russia was redirected just so a massive 'welcome commitee' could arrest him in peace, at a remote location - which is kind of odd for the official story of - eh 'just a normal bail jumper - nothing to see here'. ;)
    --

    That said -

    Russias political and economic elite structures have certain institutional paths, that have nothing to do with 'how Navalny views an open democracy'. The economic elite, is somewhat allowed to reign in their own interest - but as soon as it comes to spheres where it is percieved as economically important, or politically important for the country, they either cooperate - or their entire management board gets exchanged, kind of deal.

    Putin pretty much has been declared 'ruler for life' stuff like that also doesnt happen in democracies. Media system is subverted. All correct.

    I'm just not sure that everything would be better with Navalny as more than just head of a political opposition. Russia has many structural problems, not the least of which is its high reliance on selling their natural ressources, as a substantial part of GDP, which comes with its own set of problems. With corruption being very high on that list - and their own ways to deal with it.

    Also they where F'CKED over in terms of NATO enlargement plans, and the US several times tanked their entire economy, by cutting them off of foreign currency income flows.

    So... Yeah. Navalny seems a little bit like a charismatic 'bunny in the headlights' - that could become dangerous politically, but has nothing but hope, drive, charisma and character - to move his country in a more free direction -- none of which is high on the to do list of russian power and political elites.

    But at least in that aspect, they arent so different from more western ones.

    Also - currently he is so high profile that he probably doesnt get killed off, but reprehended even more thoroughly, a few days ago he got 3,5 years in prison for the crime of - something, or rather. Ask the person who diverted his plane, when he went back to russia. ;)

    edit: https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2021...-says-pilot-of-another-hindered-flight-a72640

    edit:

    Current Navalny camp strategy?

    Vote for as many small parties as possible. Doesnt matter which ones. Just to delegitimize Putin!
    https://www.dw.com/en/could-pro-navalny-street-protests-topple-putin/a-56430989
     
    Last edited by notimp, Feb 3, 2021
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  4. notimp

    notimp Well-Known Member
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    Please dont ban for double posting, but this is a notable development in the cause I previously was not aware of.

    Belingcat recorded Navalny speaking with a member of the alleged poisoning squad that worked for the FSB and confirmed, that they were responsible for the poison attack:

    https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-...advertently-confesses-murder-plot-to-navalny/

    edit: The FSB responded via Ria Novosti and argued, that this would be a forgery. :)
     
    Last edited by notimp, Feb 3, 2021
  5. notimp

    notimp Well-Known Member
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    News correspondents round table on the topic:


    Russian opppositions (thats not necessarily camp Navalny) view:

    (from the daughter of Khrushchev btw.)
     
    Last edited by notimp, Feb 14, 2021
  6. Pipistrele

    Pipistrele GBAtemp Advanced Fan
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    As someone who actually lives in Russia, I have some complex opinions on the matter (and could point out holes in foreigner's perception of both Kremlin and Russian opposition movement, since they involve a ton of intricacy too) - but I'll be honest, voicing them out on internet forums never did me any good, and most of the time I just end up in on receiving end of ham-fisted textwalls and xenophobic insults. So, not even going to try this time, not on GBATemp for sure.
     
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  7. notimp

    notimp Well-Known Member
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    Would have been interested. Only additional thing the Youtube algo served me up, was a RT produced hitjob package, showing a swedish diplomat, videotaped in a cafe, allegedly telling an associate, that his job was to talk to billionaires to invest a few million into opposition politics, to stabilize their business dealings and maybe more...

    As a video package, it was too vague, so I didnt post it in here.
     
  8. notimp

    notimp Well-Known Member
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  9. notimp

    notimp Well-Known Member
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    Fandubbed version of the Navalny Documentary.


    Seems incredibly well researched and pretty low on purely dramaturgic elements.

    The flipping wine on the menu cards.
     
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  10. tpax

    tpax GBAtemp Fan
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    And yet absolutely made up, to the point, where even our western media are now silent about that story.
     
  11. Xzi

    Xzi GBAtemp's Resident Plok Expert
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    Lol what? If anything that's the most airtight part of the story, Putin had been caught red-handed poisoning at least five other people prior to Nalvany, many with the exact same type of poison. We're talking about a guy who considers himself not just above the law, but also above the rest of the world.

    I don't have much more to say on the subject other than: fuck Putin. He's certainly nowhere near as dumb as Trump, but he's every bit as malicious, if not more so. Under his "leadership," Russia looks like the exact same failed state now that it did when I was born in the 80s. Meanwhile, Putin and his small band of oligarchs have been hoarding oil and wealth that entire time, elevating their standard of living to levels beyond the average Russian's wildest dreams. They need a French revolution-style reset.
     
    Last edited by Xzi, Feb 26, 2021
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  12. notimp

    notimp Well-Known Member
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    You dont make up photos of menu plans at state galas. Stuff like that is openly factcheckable.

    Aside many other things that would be more difficult to, especially as all shown documents by now probably have vanished from the public record. :)

    So how does the logic on the menu cards go?

    I, Putin, want to serve my most esteemed state guests only the best to impress them, therefore I went with the wine of my long forgotten Judo pal bussiness mogul friend, a wine noone has ever heard of.

    I, Putin, want to serve my most esteemed state guests only the best to impress them, therefore I went with any wine - as a favour to my long forgotten Judo pal bussiness mogul friend, the one you cant buy in stores - and he has no interest to promote - and in fact doesnt promote?

    I, Putin, didnt care - and that was an oversight? At two separate state dinners? Where everything is planned to the stupidest of details - regardless of country - because wine selection, can actually become a diplomatic gesture, and you dont want to be the person who made a grave mistake there - that might lead into bad sentiments, before talks start.

    I, Putin, served my most esteemed state guests my own wine. And it is just as good as the best Chardonnays the entire rest of the world can produce.

    Sometimes its the stupidest details, that make a story so much more believable....

    In other news:

    https://www.dw.com/en/eu-us-impose-sanctions-on-russia-over-alexei-navalny-poisoning/a-56747284

    (Sanctions arent that grave though.. ;) )

    Also as to the questions, why other countries media isnt having a field day with it - it would delegitimize their own position. :) In international politics, you dont meddle with other countries internal politics. Thats rule number one.

    (And then of course you do - but not officially.. ;) If you argue in terms of 'moral' support you should -- most russians dont read western media outlets. So public facing campaigns in western outlets are not necessary. :) Whenever we have those media campains in the west, its for our own population. ;))
     
    Last edited by notimp, Mar 2, 2021
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