‘The only verdict allowed’: Navalny’s jailing is a watershed for Russia

Opposition activist’s long sentence underscores Kremlin will not brook any dissent

“The current situation is just the beginning,” Tatiana Stanovaya, founder of R. Politik, a Russia-focused political think-tank, wrote on Telegram. “A flywheel has been set in motion, which pits the most powerful repressive inertia against any manifestation of “out-of-systemism” — this will affect activists, journalists, bloggers, media, NGOs, as well as bystanders, witnesses, students and teachers.” The clampdown shows how the stakes have risen since Mr Navalny came to prominence during protests against Mr Putin’s return to power in 2011. Then, the authorities appeared noticeably reluctant to jail him.


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