NewsDeath of Alexei Navalny heralds new era of repression in Russia, warns political scientist

Death of Alexei Navalny heralds new era of repression in Russia, warns political scientist

President of Russia Vladimir Putin
President of Russia Vladimir Putin
Images source: © PAP | AMIL SITDIKOV, KREMLIN POOL, Remko de Waal, SPUTNIK
1:46 PM EST, February 17, 2024

"Navalny's death announces an era of mass repression, an era of darkness," declared Bernaras Ivanovas, a political scientist at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas. "The so-called elections are looming, and Putin is attempting to demonstrate his strength to his main electorate," he added during a discussion on Lithuanian public radio, LRT, suggesting that Putin wants to project himself as an unyielding leader who will stop at nothing to maintain power.

Putin's Hidden Message

Ivanovas points out that Putin is clearly signalling his opponents. He recalls Kremlin propagandists such as Vladimir Solovyov and Dmitri Kiselev openly expressing their belief that anyone who supported the candidature of Boris Nadezhdin, Putin's rival in the March presidential elections, should be hunted down and shot.

According to Ivanovas, Putin will strive to deal with oppositionists living abroad to instil fear - his primary weapon. He described Russia as a totalitarian state where opposition is relentlessly squashed.

"Navalny's death signals the end of any hope for peaceful protest or genuine transformation," stated the expert. He expressed that currently, only a general rebellion or revolution could bring about change in Russia. "We're on the brink of witnessing unimaginable amounts of bloodshed," he concluded.

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