Reflections

A Potent Challenger to Putin Is Neutralized

Feb 9, 2017 | 02:29 GMT
A Potent Challenger to Putin Is Neutralized
Wednesday's conviction of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny on an embezzlement charge effectively thwarts his intention to challenge President Vladimir Putin in 2018 presidential elections.
(KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)

Russia's most prominent opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, was found guilty of embezzlement once again in a retrial of his overturned 2013 conviction. At the conclusion of a hasty but flashy show trial today, Navalny was sentenced to five years in prison, but the sentence was subsequently suspended, at least temporarily. The Kremlin's intention was not to eliminate the opposition leader but to use the trial's verdict to sideline him from running for president next year. The Kremlin still wants to be able to use Navalny's case as a warning to others....

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