Russian police arrested thousands over the weekend as they tried to stop protests in at least 66 cities in seven-hour zones, with more demonstrations coming over the weekend. What will it take for autocrat Vladimir Putin to understand that the arrest of Alexei Navalny was a mistake?
The Kremlin tried twice to assassinate Navalny, most recently with a Soviet nerve agent, but the opposition leader simply returned. Literally: He returned last week from Berlin, where he was recovering from an almost fatal poisoning – only to have his plane diverted to an airport 25 miles from his destination so that the police could arrest him away from the assembled supporters to greet him.
He was detained for 30 days pending a hearing on old fictitious charges that could send him to a colony for years.
But Navalny has already recorded one of his potential killers, who is scattering the nipples for the attempted poisoning, and has also uncovered evidence of Putin̵
Most importantly, his supporters will not give up. According to one estimate, 35,000 protested in Moscow, with more crowds all the way to Vladivostok. Navalny, meanwhile, warned in advance, “I do not intend to hang myself on a window grille or cut my veins or throat with a sharpened spoon.”
Putin has a tiger in his tail.