Alexei Navalny Has Been Confirmed Poisoned by the Russian Nerve Agent Novichok. What Happens Now?
For Putin, experts say, these accusations are a geopolitical attack. “It’s not about Navalny, it’s about destroying Russia,” says Stanovaya. “Russia will push for Germany to obtain all the proof. But it will never be enough,” she says.
It is a “big strike” against the opposition, says Stanovaya — and one that comes after Putin has already spent years threatening, arresting and jailing Kremlin critics, introducing laws that cast certain kinds of criticism of the government as threats to state security, and forcing civil society organizations to shut. In July, Navalny was forced to close his Anti-Corruption Foundation due to hefty court fines imposed over one of its investigations.