Home World “Navalny was killed by a brutal regime. The election? Useless. “The Russians are terrified.”

“Navalny was killed by a brutal regime. The election? Useless. “The Russians are terrified.”

“Navalny was killed by a brutal regime.  The election?  Useless.  “The Russians are terrified.”

to“Russia is feeling sick so I don't feel well either.” Grigory Yavlinsky offers no room for optimism. Chairman and founder of the Liberal and Peace Party Yabloko He is known for his pragmatism, which always drives him on the edge. A little inside the current Russian system and a little outside it. To the point of often raising doubts about the proximity to the Kremlin. Which, at least, judging by the notions expressed during this conversation, is baseless. “What you are about to ask me is the most difficult question for me.”

Alexei Navalny?
Whatever the cause of death, he was the victim of brutal political repression. The conditions of his detention were nothing more than a form of physical and psychological torture.”

How much did you hate each other?
“He was with us in Yabloko for eight years. I knew him well. At a certain point, our differences in views became irreconcilable. We quarreled openly and often criticized each other harshly. But this certainly does not diminish the horror of a regime in which the authorities do not stop Anything to suppress an opponent's free thought.

Why did you once again choose not to run for president?
“It is not an election, but rather a simple and irreplaceable bureaucratic procedure, under the complete control of the authorities.”

“exactly.” I can already tell you the result: 80% of the votes for Putin, turnout 75%. In Russia, an institutionalized authoritarian regime has existed for many years and does not include free elections. Furthermore, laws were passed that did not allow me free access to television and the press. This meant that it was equally impossible to talk to people. So why participate?

To do the certification work?
“This time it's no use.” I don't expect anything from this election. Only three loyal supporters of Putin are participating in the elections, and they fully support his policies, including the war with Ukraine. We will never know how many people will go to the polls. What's more, a significant portion of voting will be electronic.”

Do the Russian people really want a peaceful candidate?
“Such a number could be reasonable if fair elections were held. Today this possibility does not exist, and there is no confidence in people to vote. “The conditions are not there.”

Is opposition in Russia really impossible?
“In a country without democracy, where a harsh authoritarian regime operates, where there is no independent judiciary, and where there is no access to the media, it is very complicated. At Yabloko we do our best to make our voice heard. But it is impossible to become a collective under the current circumstances. With propaganda occupying every space, in a society immersed in an atmosphere of collective fear.”

Do you agree with the frequent comparisons with 1937?
“I understand the meaning, but there are obvious differences. Starting with the number of victims of repression. Stalin did not have television and the Internet to keep the population 'numb'. But there is one thing in common between the two eras, something that the rest of the world underestimates. People are very afraid. Everyone has children “And families and loved ones. People don't think they can influence anything. People are silent. Today as it was then.”

When did the systematic destruction of countervoices begin?
“In the 1990s, criminally incorrect reforms were carried out in Russia: a criminal privatization and erosion of power was carried out, which created the basis of corruption and oligarchy, and caused irreparable disappointment among the people. Moreover, the abandonment of the state's legal assessment of Stalinism ultimately led to Putin. The Russian system today is not just a personal matter. “It is the result of the failure of post-Soviet transformations.”

What purpose does he need another referendum?
He added: “Once every six years, it needs a procedure that officially confirms its legitimacy.” After such a triumphant show of support, he can generally do as he pleases.”

How long will Putin continue the war?
– There is no point in discussing intentions. We need to talk about what needs to be done. Nowadays, it is very important to reach a ceasefire and stop agreement. In recent months, Putin has always talked about talks. We must try to conduct negotiations, this is the work of diplomacy. “There is no alternative.”

What will Russia be like in the next few years under Putin?
“The prospects are very worrying. Interethnic or religious clashes could occur in the near future. The ultra-nationalist wing could raise its head again. Political repression could expand. However, I am sure that sooner or later we will have the opportunity to become “A modern and democratic country again. But when and how this will happen, no one knows yet.”


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