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Top 10 Reasons Why Russian Opposition is Better off with Navalny Behind Bars

Navalny barsLast week the curtain came down on the farcical show trial of Alexei Navalny in Kirov. The accused was not permitted to call a single witness in his own defense, and pundits far and wide believe from the disturbing conduct of the judge that  he has no chance of being acquitted of corruption charges that are eerily similar to those faced by Mikhail Khodorkovsky soon after he announced he would like to have Putin’s job.

Ironically enough, if he does intend to send Navalny to prison on July 18th (some say Navalny will get off with a slap on the wrist, which will be enough to disqualify him from political office), Putin is doing the Russian opposition a huge favor. Here are the top ten reasons why:

10.  Navalny is a worrying racist-sexist-nationalist.  Navalny has been revoltingly silent on issues like anti-gay legislation because Navalny is not a real democrat. At his core Navalny is a racist nationalist with a mirky past and many very scary attitudes.  He’s not the only freak of this kind who has been embraced by the mainstream opposition; they’ve also marched with the even more dangerous and scary Edward Limonov, to name just one.  Navalny is Limonov lite.  Navalny’s silence on issues like Russian support for Syria and Russia’s invasion of Georgia are equally disturbing indications of the dark ideas that lie beneath the surface, many of which are actually in sympathy with Putin.  Navalny has the same barbaric attitudes towards women that most Russian men have. He has totally failed to make women’s rights a central part of his platform and he has not elevated women to positions of power.  Navalny has done nothing to drive the right-wing element out of his organization; to the contrary, huge numbers of Communists and neo-Nazis still march in opposition rallies.

9.  Navalny has lost focus on doing what he does best.  Navalny’s main claim to fame is that he built a highly successful blog that fearlessly shone light on horrific acts of official corruption.  Now, Navalny is actually stealing the work of other corruption fighters and passing it off as his own.   Had Navalny continued focusing on this work, and given an endorsement and publicity (and financial support) to a political leader more skilled than he in building consensus and national opposition, he could have been a great Russian. Instead, he has become preoccupied with doing everything himself.

8.  Navalny participated an highly questionable “election” and prejudged his own trial.  Navalny is an incredible hypocrite.  The online “election” he personally organized and won by a landslide and his public statements that he’d be found guilty in Kirov before the verdict was rendered show this unfortunate quality in its worst light.  Instead of leading by example towards a pluralistic state, it appears Navalny is building his own cult of personality and in many ways is acting in an anti-democratic manner.  Part of this could be the result of being under siege from the Kremlin, and another part could be because it’s what Russians actually expect from their leaders. But that doesn’t change the fact that Navalny is far from a role model on democratic politics.

7.  Navalny is obsessed with the Internet.  Navalny’s belief that the Internet could unseat Putin has proven childish. It has totally failed.   Navalny has not been willing to do the kind of hard work on the street at the grass roots that leads to a successful revolution.  That may be because he’s just lazy, or it may be that he is incapable of the type of one-on-one canvassing required.  Most Russians get their news from TV, not the Internet, and therefore most Russians have no idea who Navalny is.  Most won’t even know, much less care, if he’s sent to prison.

6.  Navalny can’t communicate with the provinces.  Navalny doesn’t seem to understand that Moscow isn’t Russia.  He’s totally failed to cause a successful revolt against Putin in Moscow, but even if he had done so that would leave 90% of Russia’s population out of the loop.  The vast majority of Russians have no idea who he is, and he’s done nothing significant to change that.  There is simply no evidence that Navalny can connect with ordinary Russians; rather, he clearly seems limited to the yuppie class in Moscow, a tiny minority of Russians who have no power to change anything.

5.  Navalny sucks all the oxygen out of the room.  The only factor that ameliorates Navalny’s sexism is that he’s actually hostile to anyone who would like to share power with him.  Navalny has not shared power with other opposition leaders, he has not sought to elevate any of them into a prominent public role, and he has not unified the opposition via consensus building. Rather, he has sought to dominate it.  The worst, most venal act of Lenin was his failure to identify a successor, creating a power vacuum upon his demise that the murderous Stalin was able to fill.  Navalny has behaved exactly the same way.  His hoarding of power has been carried to such an extent that he’s not even able to identify the person who would pick up his flag and carry on were he to be assassinated or jailed, both of which have been obvious possibilities since he began his agitation.

4.  Navalny isn’t a great leader, but he can be useful martyr.  Navalny doesn’t write or deliver great speeches. He’s not truly inspirational.  He’s no Mandela, King or Gandhi. He just looks good because he has no real competition, and he has none in part because he has choked it off. See no. 5 above.  Navalny was very good at outing acts of official corruption on his blog. He should have used that power to identify and support capable political leaders who could push forward his agenda. Instead he tried to do it himself, which indicates a woeful lack of belief in his countrymen (and/or a woefully gigantic ego).  However, in jail Navalny can succeed in the role of martyr, giving impetus to further opposition activity that might not otherwise take place.

3.  Navalny has broken every promise he’s ever made.  Navalny said we’d see a new round of Duma elections. We didn’t. He said we’d see Putin in a runoff election. We didn’t. He said we’d see his protest movement grow rapidly. It shrank rapidly.  He said he’d win a series of victories in local elections across Russia. He lost.  Not one thing Navalny has ever promised has been delivered. If Navalny were a CEO, he would have been fired by the Board of Directors long ago. But Navalny doesn’t answer to a Board or to anyone.  He demands accountability from Putin, but he himself is not accountable.  If Navalny were a true visionary, he’d step down so someone else could have a chance to do better.

2.  Navalny has not made a name for himself in the West.  The easiest of Navalny’s failures to understand is his failure to make a name for himself in the West, to generate support there as for example Boris Nemtsov has done.  Doing so is risky, because it is something the Kremlin could as a weapon to brand him a “foreign agent.”  But figuring out a way to achieve this should have been a top priority for Navalny. It’s just not possible to challenge  Putin for power without having at least some support from the Western democracies.

1.  Navalny has failed at fundraising.  Even if he was not able to generate ever-larger street demonstrations or achieve any actual political goal, the very least Navalny could have done would have been to use the Internet to raise a large war chest.  He’s totally failed to do this, and this failure goes hand-in-hand with his inability to reach out to the provinces and create a national organization. This failure alone should disqualify him from continuing to hold power over the opposition movement.  The only way any rational person can support Navalny continuing to lead the opposition movement is by adopting an absolutely hostile and patronizing attitude towards Russia, an attitude which posits that, pathetic though he may be, he’s the best a pathetic country can do. If you believe that, you may as well write Russia off. We don’t believe it. We believe that there are many other possible leaders who need to be given a chance to fail just as Navalny has failed. They can’t possibly do any worse.  Instead of hoarding power, Navalny should distribute it to such people and see what they can do.

Gandhi used to say that his country couldn’t have its revolution until it was ready for it, and that maybe in the meantime the best thing he could do for his country was to go to prison.  The same may be true for Navalny in Russia, but not because Navalny is even remotely as well-loved as Gandhi was.  Gandhi had no Internet. He didn’t have the luxury of kicking back with a brewski in front of the telly and tapping out messages to millions the way Navalny can.  Gandhi built a much more powerful movement with only hard leg work and the force of his own ideas and personality.  When he went to jail, the whole nation knew, and wept. It was galvanized. Nothing like this can happen when Navalny is jailed. But at least jailing Navalny will take him out of the picture, forcing the opposition to look for his replacement and perhaps invigorating the movement. Indeed, it could well be that the best thing Putin could do if he wants to undermine the movement is to set Navalny free and let him go back to running it into the ground.

44 responses to “Top 10 Reasons Why Russian Opposition is Better off with Navalny Behind Bars

  1. vlad rutenburg ⋅

    Your glee at seeing Putin send yet another innocent man to prison is duly noted.

    • larussophobe ⋅

      Your feral dishonesty in suggesting that there is the slightest hint of glee in this post is duly noted.

      Your total lack of any evidence that the opposition would be better off with Navalny at liberty is likewise duly noted.

      We endorsed Navalny for Mayor of Moscow. Did you?

      • Manfred Steifschwanz ⋅

        Lazy woman — off you go and get a prison sentence in Russia yourself. Don’t you have any courage at all?

        • Bohdan ⋅

          Bravo Manturd the shithead of all time!!! Another totally useless reply from the ‘daddy of all communist imbeciles!!!’

          Reread LR’s excellent and very intelligent comments, you baboon, something may sink in second time around – but I doubt it as the brain damage you’ve suffered is too great and permanent.

          In the meantime back to reading by rote the rubbish in “Das Kapital” and bowing and scraping to the greatest mass murderer of all time – that scum Stalin – a photo of which must hangs somewhere in that hovel that you call home.

          Remember comrade baboon it is better for all same people to think that you are a stupid idiot, rather then opening your brainless mouth ad nauseum and dispelling that doubt!

          • Manfred Steifschwanz ⋅

            Judging by your reaction, my reply to Kim was anything but “totally useless”, Bohdanito 😀

            • Bohdan ⋅

              Spoken like a true “SHITforBRAINS” cretin that you are Manfred!!! You obviously have a real problem in understanding and/or comprehending the Queen’s English language- by communist standards – as your sick, stupid and totally warped rationale that you excel is the only strong point that you posses, comrade baboon.

              Hence reread my original reply to you, Turkey.

        • Manfred Steifschwanz ⋅

          Bohdan, darling: My reply to Kim applies to you as well. Off you go and become a little “dissident”. It shall be very interesting indeed to see the Corporate Media’s hyping of a silly old fool who hasn’t matured past the age of 13 😀

          • Bohdan ⋅

            As per usual your childish comments, darling “SHIT for BRAINS” Manturd, deserve to be treated with utter contempt! Comrade baboon.

            Back to that stupid trash (and what trash it is) publication, Das Kapital, and don’t forget to to prostrate yourself in front of the greatest mass murderer of all time – that worthless piece of scum, so beloved by you, J. Stalin.

      • vladislav rutenburg ⋅

        > Your total lack of any evidence that the opposition would be better off with Navalny at liberty is likewise duly noted.

        Navalny and his blog are highly popular and educate the public as to the government corruption. This is invaluable service.

        > We endorsed Navalny for Mayor of Moscow. Did you?

        Yes, of course.

  2. elmer ⋅

    Off topice slightly, but not by much.

    Rasha just convicted a man who is dead – Magnitsky.

    I am waiting to see how Rasha/Putler put Magnitsky in jail.

    In the insane cesspool called Rasha, that would be the next “logical” step – put a dead man in jail, because, after all, he has been “convicted.”

    Magnitsky exposed corruption in Rasha – therefore, Rasha had to eliminate him, and “prove” that the corruption that Magnitsky found is “not true.”

    After all, the corruption was found by a “convicted man.”

    • Manfred Steifschwanz ⋅

      What’s the big deal, sweetheart? Being convicted when you’re dead and gone shouldn’t be too painful, right? After all, the Western baboons don’t seem to bother that much regarding their Masters’ “terrorist” show trials, featuring such niceties as multiple life sentences, torture, and even indefenite detention WITHOUT trial. Cry me a river, will you.

      Now, to pour some well-deserved scorn on Russophobes at large (not just Elmer), I understand full well what primarily keeps you submitting your silly, contrived pieces of anti-Russian outrage here: The stench of Amurrrkan “jurisdiction” has become so suffocating now that even White Christians have begun to get cold feet as of late; Snowden, Manning, Assange. This, in turn, has brought about an even nastier problem: As long as there were no Whiteys to be found at the receiving end of imperialist lawlessness, the ruling bourgeoisie was doing a really swell job. Now, not only are things spiralling out of control; the West’s adversaries are on the rise and cannot be kept in line anymore. Good riddance to Western rubbish.

      If Elmer (or anybody else) seriously believes Magnitsky would have made a difference regarding West’s demise if alive, then that’s a plausible — yet highly delusional — reason to be angry.

      • elmer ⋅

        Indeed, sweetheart, what is the big deal?

        If it’s not a big deal, why did you bother to reply to try to defend the odious practice?

        I did not think that I would have to spell it out, but in decent societies, people who have an ounce of decency let the dead rest in peace. They typically don’t conduct stalinist show trials, which are one-sided enough in Rasha as it is.

        The issue was not whether Magnitsky would have made a difference regarding the West’s putative “demise.”

        The issue was whether Magnitsky was making a difference in the corrupt, insane shithole that is the Rashan Federation.

        And he was. His death proves it, and his stalinist show trial over his grave reinforces that proof.

        • Manfred Steifschwanz ⋅

          Amusing: “In decent societies /…/ people let the dead rest in peace”. Poor little Kleinbürger Elmerlein should perhaps take these words seriously and ask himself why Stalin — over 60 years dead — is being held accountable for ever fancier crimes 😀

          • elmer ⋅

            Manfred, sweetheart, history holds people accountable – well, except in psychotic Rasha, where the sovoks re-wrote history and erased people from photos.

            At any rate, stalin has not yet gone through a stalinist show trial like Magnitsky and the poor woman who was killed by a Lukoil executive.

          • Manfred Steifschwanz ⋅

            Aber bist du wirklich so blöd, armer Elmer, daß du glaubst die Popularität Stalins beeinflusst werden sollte davon? Du redest so viel Scheiße, genau so wie Bohdanito. Ich sage es aufrichtig, daß man hier bei La Russophobe eine sehr gute Erklärung der sowjetischen Position zu solchen Subjeken wie euch sofort findet: Ihr Platz ist in der Klapsmühle.

            • Bohdan ⋅

              Stupid as stupid goes? Aye shithead Manturdo, listen comrade baboon this is an English language blog, hence your google German translate impresses no one – but no one.

          • Bohdan ⋅

            Listen you stupid Limpdick Manturdo! The real reason why – as you stupidly put it – he “is being held accountable for ever fancier crimes.” is because you brainless baboon, he was the murdering scum, the architect of the mass terror whereby tens of millions of comrades were slaughtered in the name of that evil communism.

            Now baboon go and bow in front of the photos you have plastered all over your hovel of this evil piece of murdering flotsam, you know your beloved mass murderer J. Stalin.

  3. elmer ⋅

    I can’t wait to see what LR has to say about a dead man, Magnitsky, being convicted.

    Nietsche said “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

    In Rasha, the shithole of the planet, if you are killed by corruption, or by a driver who is an executive of an oil company, it makes you convicted.

    The Magnitsky verdict comes days after a Russian court convicted a dead woman in the first posthumous trial in Russia in decades. Olga Alexandrina was found guilty of causing the car accident that killed her despite widespread evidence that the other driver, a vice-president at Russian oil major Lukoil, likely caused the crash.

    • Manfred Steifschwanz ⋅

      Dear Elmer,

      Whatever LR might have to say on the subject, rest assured that everything will be just as usual; to wit, 100% senseless, useless, pointless — and then immediately forgotten. Even an average Western trashbag can’t be expected to bother too much about two (2) alleged victims of Government corruption, not even in an “enemy country” such as Russia, when selfsame trashbag has been taught to think in terms of 9-digit body counts attributable to the USSR (Joseph Stalin). Do you seriously believe that your latest little tantrum would somehow turn out to be the proverbial straw on the camel’s back?

      • elmer ⋅

        Dear Manfred

        Water dissolves stone.

        Even in Rasha, and even in the Rashan Federation.

        Maybe someday the inhabitants of the Rashan Federation will finally become human.

        • Manfred Steifschwanz ⋅


          Decent, honourable, courageous, and intelligent people such as Joseph Stalin and Vladimir Putin seem to be anathema to you. How come?

          • Bohdan ⋅

            Manturd, you piece of discarded soviet feces!!! your blatant SHIT for brains has just come out to the forte with your latest stupid remark that ” Decent, honourable, courageous, and intelligent people such as Joseph Stalin and Vladimir Putin seem to be anathema to you” To utter such trash about the greatest piece of human feces – your beloved mass murdering Georgian scum , J Stalin, just proves what a useless brain dead communist shit head you really are. And sure your beloved Putin is not in the murdering scale, as yet, to that snake Stalin, but he is a thief and does copy him to a lesser scale.

            Also comrade ‘SHIT FOR BRAINS,’ the mass murdering committed by that evil reptile cretin Stalin will never be repeated in modern times, as the Russian people (read sheep) have hopefully learned a lesson from that time of sheer terror- I hope for their sake. Whereas you have learned nothing and remain a nothing to be treated with utter contempt and scorn, you communist reptile of the lowest form.

            Now crawl back into that filthy stinking hovel that serves as your abode, and have another big, big swig of that poisonous ‘Somogonka,’ you deserve each other darling communist reptile!!!

          • elmer ⋅

            Dear Manfred

            With tongue firmly in cheek, you pose what you think are clever questions.

            They’re not.

            stalin and the people who supported him and carried out his orders were brutal murderers. stalin himself started his “political” career as a brutal murdering bank robber.

            Vlad Dracul Putler – another sovok jerk at the top of the sovok thug mob of Rasha.

            I typically hate to state the blindingly obfious, but in your case, apparently an exception needs to be made.

          • Manfred Steifschwanz ⋅

            “Blindingly obvious” — leider nicht so einfach, mein Schatz. Du und Bohdanito sind zwei echte Vollidioten, die von Angst und Hass hier schreien ganz ohne Sinn. Möglicherweise wäre es eine gute Idee ein sibirisches Arbeitslager für euch aufzubauen. Das dürfte wenigstens eine Gelegenheit um ihre Zeit sinnvoll zu nützen. Was sagt ihr dazu?

  4. Manfred Steifschwanz ⋅

    Corollary question: How could possibly ANYONE prefer Stalin and PUtin to well-versed, witty, and affable Bohdanito?

    • elmer ⋅

      Corollary answer:

      Because Bohdan is not a murdering psychotic thug like stalin.

      And because stalin is a rotten corpse.

      You’re not clever, Manfred.

      My great preference is for Bohdan.

      • Bohdan ⋅

        Aah, thank you for those kind words elmer, as “My great preference is for Elmer.” That is the feeling is mutual!!!

        Keep up the excellent work my friend, as all that it is necessary for evil to succeed (i.e. Manturd) is that good people do nothing (i.e you and I and the rest of the sane users of this magic blog!)

    • Manfred Steifschwanz ⋅

      Kleiner Mann, du lügst so schön:

      >> You’re not clever, Manfred >>

      Es tut mir leid dir zu sagen, daß mit Ausnahme einigen hysterischen Schreihälsen (vor allem Bohdanito, MCCUSA und du selbst), hält man mich für intelligent, begapt und talentiert. Ich versichere, daß ich in mehrere Forums nehme teil; nicht nur in ausgeschwänzten Abfalleimern wie “La Russophobe”. Und im Gegensatz zu euch und genau so wie Wladimir Putin und Josef Stalin bin ich ein Mann der von der Welt viel weiß, versteht und auch gesehen hat. Ihr Bürgerschweine kennt nur das nachplappern von westlichen Medien.

      • Bohdan ⋅

        Hey “Shit for brains” Manturd! How many times MUST you be told that this blog is for English users. Hence your google German translate impresses no one, but no one.

        Besides you don’t need to keep on proving just how stupid you really are. You communist brainwashed and indoctrinated comrade baboon succeed most admirably by doing so each time you post your worthless communist mumbo jumbo!

    • Manfred Steifschwanz ⋅

      Mind also the blooming stupidity of your answers in view of how my question was intentionally being phrased:

      “How could possibly ANYONE prefer Stalin and Putin to /…/ Bohdanito?”

      Replying “because Bohdan is not a murdering psychotic thug like stalin” and “because stalin is a rotten corpse” suggests you prefer Stalin and Putin to Bohdanito on these grounds 😀

    • Bohdan ⋅

      To answer your normal idiotic comment i.e.”How could possibly ANYONE prefer Stalin and PUtin to well-versed, witty, and affable Bohdanito?” Bravo, you comrade baboon have answered your own (and may I add) stupid question! The answer turkey is – only an utter commo idiot like you.

      There happy now!!! But, but as an aside – you’re not an “ANYONE,” as you’re just a ‘NO ONE!’

  5. Auriga ⋅

    Starting from beginning 10) is total bullshit, Navalny knows a lot more about Russia, then the author of this blog. That’s why he is a bit nationalistic and tries to ignore the gay legislation.
    Otherwise he’d die politically instantly.

    Actually, all the antigay laws and pussy-riot process may be a smart move to help Moscow opposition to commit political suicide, many were dumb enough to fall it that trap. After standing up for LGBT they still can go abroad and raise funds for ‘freedom fighting’, but in Russia they’d lose any chance for political future.

  6. Auriga ⋅

    9) He’s very selective about corruption facts worth whistle-blowing.
    For example, for a year he was in the directorate of the huge (and corrupt of course) Aeroflot. And silent about corruption within.
    But I agree, he lost some of his initial momentum, becoming more of opposition politician, rather than corruption whistle-blower.

  7. Auriga ⋅

    8) Hey. That’s his style.

  8. Auriga ⋅

    7) He never supposed to overthrow Putin via internet. Of course, it is impossible. He tried to push his followers into offline fight with regime. So far he failed.

  9. Auriga ⋅

    6) I think, he understands his chances are falling, as a function of distance to Moscow. He tried to change this (see DMP project).
    Anyway, to stage a revolution support in provinces is optional. Revolutions are made in capitals.

  10. Auriga ⋅

    5) Totally wrong. There are active figures, such as Volkov. Probably adepts of Navalny can name a lot more.

  11. Auriga ⋅

    4) True, now he can be a perfect martyr. But wrong about leader. Probably, he’s the best potential leader russian opposition can have. Nobody else even remotely close.

  12. Auriga ⋅

    3) true for every politician. So what?

  13. Auriga ⋅

    2) Muahaha. No comments.

  14. Auriga ⋅

    1) He did successful fundraising for his projects and he raised funds from Russian citizen (mostly Moscow, thought). Not from foreign funds. That’s why he still have some remote chance of winning the game, unlike political corpses such as Nemtsov.

  15. Auriga ⋅

    To summarize. By the definition of russophobie, anyone with even remote chances for country-wide popularity in Russia must be hated by LaRussophobe. And those praised by russophobes will be hated by russians.

  16. Pingback: Five Years for Navalny (for starters) | Dying Russia

  17. Pingback: The File on Mr. Navalny | Dying Russia

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