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Between Vladimir Poutine and the opponent Alexeï Navalny, a merciless duel

Alexei Navalny knew what awaited him when he returned to Russia, five months after his poisoning in Siberia and his evacuation to Germany. “I could not have acted otherwise, he wrote on Instagram, Thursday, January 21, from the Moscow prison of Matrosskaya Tichina, where he is being held. There is neither pathos, nor spirit of sacrifice, nor fatalism. It is a rational choice: I refused to accept arbitrariness and to keep silent in the face of lies. ”

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After this message was broadcast, the opponent was placed in solitary confinement and deprived of any right to communicate with the outside world or to receive mail. In the merciless duel with the Kremlin, every word, every gesture counts.

On the same day, justice ordered social networks to block calls for demonstrations on Saturday, January 23, launched by Mr. Navlany and his teammates in some sixty Russian cities, and relayed by thousands of citizens. Several of his allies, like Lioubov Sobol, had been arrested on suspicion and criminal cases opened. Journalists received a visit from the police.

If the lawyer returned to his country, it was knowingly, and with an unpinned grenade in his hand. This surprise he reserved for his arrival is called A palace for Putin. The latest addition to Team Navalny’s films went live on January 19, when the opponent was already in jail. This deliberate collision of agendas increases its power tenfold, when any criticism emitted from abroad reaches Russia as if deadened.

“The biggest bribe in history”

Three days after its broadcast, the video totaled 47 million views on YouTube, a record despite its length (1 h 52). It is the fiercest and most detailed that the Opponent’s Anti-Corruption Fund (FBK) has ever produced.

For the first time, above all, it is targeting not a member of Vladimir Putin’s entourage, but the president himself, through his palace on the shores of the Black Sea. Located on a territory torn from the domain of the State, as large as thirty-nine times the Principality of Monaco, guarded by the FSB – the federal security service -, it would belong to Mr. Putin through nominees and arrangements that include offshore companies and so-called charitable foundations.

Alexeï Navalny shows everything, supporting documents, photos and testimonies: the hockey field built under the mountain, the church, the private casino, the shisha room, the vines, the furniture dripping with gilding, the contracts for the purchase in Italy of furniture and toilet brushes at 700 euros each…

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