How Navalny revolutionized Russia’s opposition politics


The harrowing videos of Alexei Navalny, a blogger who has captured popular frustration in Russia, screaming in agony on Aug. 20, 2020 before being removed unconscious from a plane to a waiting ambulance, demonstrate the Kremlin’s increasing reliance on coercion to control dissent, according to analyst Regina Smyth.

Alexei Navalny. Credit: Wikimedia

Navalny’s challenge to Putin’s regime rests on his innovative ideas and organizing strategies that have made him a force in Russian politics, as detailed in her book Elections, Protest, and Authoritarian Regime Stability: Russia 2008-2020:

His canny use of social media has given thousands of Russians – both old and, especially, young – new insight and ways to protest against their government. Navalny drew on the resources of these protests – activists, themes, online fundraising strategies and new coalitions – to build an opposition strategy that links elections and a variety of forms of protest. ………Recent work by political scientists Mikhail Turchenko and Grigorii Golosov demonstrate that Navalny’s “Smart Vote” strategy made a real difference in Russias’s 2019 local elections, helping to defeat nearly a third of Putin-aligned candidates in Moscow. Navalny’s team was gearing up to do the same thing in the September 2020 vote. RTWT

Print Friendly, PDF & Email