• Daniel Ethan Finneran

Navalny Detained in Russia

Alexei Navalny, a name by which the most unflinching of apparatchiks is scandalized and the least optimistic of liberals inspired, was detained upon his return to the city outside which he was born.

A political dissident in a country intolerant of dissent, Navalny returned to the city of Moscow after a five-month sojourn in Germany. As might be expected, his time spent away from that ancient capital of Russia, that peculiar, impenetrable city in which his anti-corruption political organization is based, was somewhat involuntary.

In August of 2020, while on a flight to Moscow from the distant city of Tomsk, he was poisoned by a nerve agent, a method of assassination—at once idiosyncratic and silent—of which the Russians make habitual, shameless, and occasionally deadly use. With the knowledge that one of its passengers lay in so precarious a state, the flight was diverted. Days later, Navalny was medically evacuated to Berlin, far away from the state by whose hands he was nearly killed. There, in the sanctuary of a foreign hospital, into which not even the brazen Kremlin dare reach, he was treated by doctors sympathetic to his suffering, and given the opportunity to convalesce.

Five months later, the physical strength of which he was deprived seems to have been restored, and the flame by which his political ambition was once propelled appears to have been re-ignited. Sensing no perfect time to mount his re-entry into Russia, Navalny decided to do so last weekend. Immediately upon landing at Moscow, he was detained by the Russian police, by whom—if the past is any forecast of the future—he’s very unlikely to be gently treated.

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