Barring of Russian politician, and fighter against corruption, Alexei Navalny turns next year presidential elections into a soap a long time before it starts. The powerful opponent of Vladimir Putin is out of the race, so Kremlin can be sure there will be no unpleasant surprises while opening of ballot boxes.
The farce of the politically motivated trial does signal a clear message to Russians, and to the world: the authoritarian is there to stay. In a way Putin beats Leonid Brezhnev record of 18 years: from inauguration on 7th of May 2000 to potential 2024 makes his reign 30% longer that the tzar’s of late Soviet stagnation.
The mechanical removal of Navalny is meaning Russia’s return to its very self, developing from crisis to crisis, with biological renewal of the leadership over lengthy periods of stagnation in between.. “White tzars, red tzars, grey tzars”, – Johan Le Carre’s definition of Russia’s political history can’t be described better in a few words.