Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Navalny will return, but only when Putin is no longer in charge

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People gathered to say their goodbyes to Alexey Navalny in Moscow. They called him their hero. Each person holding a red carnation showed a small act of resistance in a country where political competition is not allowed. The supporters chanted, “we won’t forgive,” possibly directed at the President, Vladimir Putin.

Despite bureaucratic delays and confusion, Navalny’s funeral took place. This might show that the government is confident in its control. The crackdown on dissent is strong, making genuine political opposition rare. This funeral might mark the end of the Russian opposition movement, at least for now.

Police were present to ensure the event stayed within acceptable limits. Around 91 people were arrested in different cities on the day of Navalny’s funeral, much less than during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Navalny’s time in prison, even in a remote location, was meant to break him physically and mentally. However, he remained a symbol of resistance, using humor to mock the prison administration. Even in death, his sense of humor was evident. Music from a Schwarzenegger movie, a favorite of Navalny’s, played at his funeral.

Though his aide believes Navalny will become a giant figure in Russian history, as long as Putin is in power, his name won’t be seen on streets and squares. The question remains how long it will take for Russian schoolchildren to learn about him in their history books.

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