He is great on corruption, but then plays into the hands of Russia's adversaries. He is not overtly stupid, unlike some other Russian opposition leaders. Perhaps his political bumbling has other explanations...
This post first appeared on Russia Insider
As a foreigner living in Russia I have observed an interesting phenomenon.
While 90% of the people I talk to are supportive of the current Russian president and his stance on various foreign and domestic affairs, there is still this minority opposition who is desperately trying to make some noise. Nothing special here, a healthy opposition is always welcome and should exist a working democracy.
What amazes me is that while in other countries the opposition have the country's best interest at heart and only debate how to achieve it, in Russia the opposition seems to represent not Russia's interests but the exact opposite!
Seeing what some opposition leaders have to say on sensitive issues like the Ukrainian conflict really puzzles me. They basically adopt the exact position as Russia's foes, with total disregard to what's best for their own country!
The western mainstream press actively keeps promoting one Alexey Navalny as an alternative to the big bad wolf... Putin. Curious about what Mr. Navalny has to say, I sent him a message on his Facebook account which I later decided to publish in the form of an open letter.
If I ever get any answers, I hope to get them published as well.
Dear Mr. Navalny!
I don't know if this is your real Facebook account or if you ever get to read this message. If you do, I kindly ask you to answer a couple of questions.
Two words about me, I am a Romanian citizen living in and interested in Russia and the whole political/geopolitical range of issues regarding Russia's relationship with Ukraine, the EU and the USA. I am addressing you as you have been depicted in the western, mainstream press as a champion of democracy and a supporter of western values, a worthy alternative to Putin and a true Russian patriot.
My questions are:
Do you truly love Russia? Do you want your country to be strong, stable and defended? Do you want Russian people to be happy, prosperous and safe (inside and outside of Russian borders)?
If you gave a sincere "yes" to all questions above, please then answer this:
How do you feel about the constant attacks of all types against your own country? Aren't you bothered by the obvious aggression against your country's economy and currency, attacks that seem to affect the common people more than the oligarchs or decision makers? How about the informational war, all western press in unison lying through their teeth about Russia or demonizing Putin and everyone who supports him. Let's not forget the cultural war, the "western" liberal values of atheism, encouragement and legalization of homosexuality and gay "marriages", the condoning of prostitution and other deviant sexual behavior - all values foreign to the traditionalist orthodox Russia.
How about the geopolitical aggression; enemies of Russia have long supported Islamic Caucasian extremism, the same puppet masters have organized multiple "color revolutions" in Russia-friendly states, in order to change the leadership and draw said states into the US/EU sphere of influence, thus depriving Russia of important economical partners.
Aren't you at all worried about all NATO bases surrounding your own country, a patriot of which you claim to be? How would you, as President, have reacted to the Ukrainian Maidan? Did the russophobic chanting bother you? How about the prospect of Ukraine joining NATO, becoming essentially an enemy of Russia and Crimeea/Sevastopol hosting US naval bases and not Russian. How would you as President have managed this situation and defend your country's interests? How did you feel when the Ukrainian army was sent in the eastern regions, where antimaidan protests had taken place, and then civilians started dying?
I fear you have no answers. What would you possibly have to say for yourself?
Regarding your usual rhetoric about the endemic corruption in Russia with which you seem to gain your political capital, you are absolutely right! But what you fail to mention is that corruption has been a part of Russian reality for many centuries and to tell ordinary people you can radically change this is an outright lie. Putin is not directly to blame for this just as the communist leaders or the czars were not.
Most likely you wouldn't be able to change a thing, and in fact would be less successful than Putin in reigning in the oligarchs, as you lack his strength and determination.
You would be in the oligarchs’ pockets faster than you can say "Yukos".
Who stands behind you, Mr. Navalny? Maybe the same people who stood behind Mr. Berezovsky? Is your ideal of Russia somewhat similar to the infamous Yeltsin years? Because I know who would absolutely love to see Russia back on its knees, weak, selling its natural resources for penny's to western corporations, without any geopolitical will, on the brink of bankruptcy and internal collapse. It's your friends, Mr Navalny, the ones endorsing you. And why do you think they are supporting you, Mr. Navalny? Because if you succeed, you're going to be the one who will hand over Russia to them and lead your people to a catastrophe in the process.
In closing, I would like to express the hope that God, or if you are not religious, then your conscience lead you to a better path, for the sake of your country and your people which I happen to honestly care for.
This post first appeared on Russia Insider
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