JRL NEWSWATCH: “In Russia, Alexei Navalny’s Allies Fight to Stay Afloat” – Wall Street Journal/ Ann M. Simmons
“With the Kremlin critic jailed and key aides exiled or under house arrest, his supporters are struggling to launch a coherent challenge to President Vladimir Putin.”
“Russian authorities are tightening the screws on Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s opposition network, threatening the survival of his political movement as he languishes in jail. His key aides are under house arrest or in exile. Many of his group’s rank-and-file have come under pressure from their employers or their places of study for joining street protests in support of the dissident, while authorities are on the brink of outlawing his political network and anticorruption foundation as extremist movements. [In] a few months … parliamentary elections … could cement the ruling United Russia party’s hold on the country for years to come. …”
The Kremlin has used Covid-19 as an excuse to ban mass gatherings. It also has threatened to shut down social media platforms not conforming with government demands to delete certain content. Shifts in opinion polls could be attributed to impacts from the government’s actions.