Levada Writes an Epitaph for Navalny

Alexei NavalnyLevada’s latest poll (Russian-language link) regarding Alexei Navalny is bad news almost beyond words. It is a political epitaph.

The stunning bottom line:  only 9.7% of Russian citizens both know who Navalny is and would consider voting for members of his political party as candidates for the State Duma. An overwhelming 67% of Russians who know Navalny would not vote for his team.

But there is even worse news for Navalny:  That 9.7% number is even smaller than it was one month ago. Then, 10.3% of Russian citizens both knew who Navalny was and would consider voting for his party.  Navalny is getting weaker, not stronger, as his name recognition is growing. While 51% of Russians knew who Navalny was a month ago, 54% do now.

As for Navalny personally, just 16.2% of Russians both know who he is and have an opinion that is somehow positive about him.  10.8% of those who know him have an opinion that is somehow negative, while the overwhelming majority of Russians either have no idea who Navalny is or know and don’t care.  49% of those who know Navalny have no opinion about him.

Levada didn’t ask its respondents whether they would consider voting for Navalny personally, but that 9.7% who would vote for his party is almost the exact share of the Moscow electorate that Navalny collected when he ran for Mayor.  It appears there is a glass ceiling over Navalny’s head around ten percent.

Navalny faces a whole new round of prosecutions by the Kremlin, and Putin has just upped the ante by actually seizing Navalny’s financial assets, the same thing that happened to Mikhail Khodorkovsky. This move will make it that much more difficult for Navalny to pay his lawyers and defend himself, and makes it clear that the Kremlin has Navalny firmly in its cross hairs.  It’s equally clear that Navalny does not have the kind of political support in the population that might serve to protect him from the Kremlin’s attacks.

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Stunning Rejection of Navalny in Latest Polls

Navalny

Two recent polls will be jolting for the jabbering sycophants of Aleksei Navalny.  In one, by Levada, Russians overwhelming reject Navalny’s calls for a Duma vote recount, telling pollsters they believe the Duma will do just fine as presently constituted, with no need to change.  In a second, by VTsIOM, not one single respondent said s/he would vote for Navalny for president if the election was held this weekend, while Putin’s support inched higher and closer to a majority. His approval level rose higher still.    Add to that the spectacular failure of a demonstration in support of opposition activist Sergei Udaltsov, where only a tiny fraction of those who signed up to attend actually appeared on the protest square, and you can clearly see the utter emptiness of the Navalny movement, which is really nothing more than a relatively small personality cult.

Breathless Idiots Gasp over Russia

If Saturday’s protest is as large as its organizers expect — the city has granted a permit for 30,000 — Mr. Navalny will be credited for mobilizing a generation of young Russians through social media, a leap much like the one that spawned Occupy Wall Street and youth uprisings across Europe this year.

That was what New York Times reporter Ellen Barry had to say about Aleksei Navalny and the “protest movement” allegedly sweeping Russia, ending in a massive demonstration in Moscow.  She didn’t care to speculate about Mr. Navalny’s fate in the event no such protest occurred.  She did not care to mention that the Western protests were not based on any cult of personality, or that they were long-lived and truly national in scope.  She may not have known that even as her crazy diatribe was going live, the first of the “waves of protest” that organizers were predicting was breaking in Russia’s Far East.

200 people showed up in Vladivostok.

The sole basis for suggesting that 30,000 might come to the streets in Moscow was that a number like that had signed on to a Facebook page calling for participation in the Moscow rally.  And the breathless Barry could not even wait to see if they showed up before anointing Navalny as an epic, earth-shaking hero. Slow news day over at the Gray Lady, you think?

Even if 30,000 people did show up, that’s in a city of 15 million.  It’s o.02% of the population.  It’s only more evidence that the vast majority of Russians will continue to sit on the sidelines, doing nothing as Putin consolidates his neo-Soviet dictatorship. Exactly the same behavior they showed during the time of Stalin.

And what would they be protesting, exactly, if they all came out into the streets? The fact that hundreds of thousands of votes were stolen from the Communist Party, which should have taken at least a quarter of the total vote?  The fact that two Kremlin sycophants, Just Russia and LDPR, should have gotten lots more votes too?  Is that really a basis for breathless, gushing excitement over Russia’s future?

We’ve seen some utterly idiotic reporting on Russia in our time, but the coverage of the aftermath of the elections to the Russian Duma is truly unhinged even by those standards.    Russians totally ignored Putin’s vicious crackdown on opposition parties, and turned a blind eye while Kasyanov, Nemtsov, Ryzhkov, Kasparov, Alexeeva and others were barred from offering alternatives to Putin’s dictatorship. They did not demand any serious debates, nor did they even demand any role in United Russia’s nominating process.  Only when the sham election had been completed did they decide to raise a very small, insignificant, meaningless squeak of protest, and only in response to the cult of personality being developed by hardcore nationalist Aleksei Navalny.

This isn’t a sign of hope for Russia. It’s a sign of the beginning of the end. And with reporting this ignorant in the so-called “enlightened” West, Russia can hardly have any hope of assistance from abroad in its time of desperate need.