Russia’s Putin Faces Rising Discontent Amid Alexei Navalny Protests

Kremlin must decide how to respond to rallies supporting the jailed opposition leader

The protests could “become the most prominent challenge for the authorities for all the 20 years of Putin’s reign,” said Tatiana Stanovaya, founder of R.Politik, an independent political-analysis firm.

But while analysts say that the scale of the rallies, which took place in more than 100 cities from Moscow to Vladivostok in Russia’s Far East, provided a boost to Mr. Navalny, the key question is whether his movement can keep up the momentum.

Mr. Navalny’s allies praised the demonstrators and called for a sequel next weekend.

“We can say that a new page in the history of Russian protests was opened yesterday,” Ivan Zhdanov, the head of Mr. Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, wrote on Facebook on Sunday. “And there is a lot more work to come.”




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