Anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny is deceitfully misportrayed by Western governments as a viable contender for the Russian Presidency despite the Levada Center — a polling company registered as a foreign agent over receiving Western funding in the past — recently finding that only 5% of Russians trust him. He was sentenced earlier this month to two and a half years in prison for violating his parole from a previous case where he was found guilty of embezzling 30 million rubles from two companies. Navalny surprisingly returned to Russia in late January following several months of treatment in Germany after being poisoned in a botched assassination attempt that he publicly blamed on the Russian authorities. His latest sentencing served as a trigger event for some people to participate in unauthorized and violent protests throughout Russia.
The sequence of events removes all doubt that Russia is being targeted by hostile forces in a newly invigorated push to provoke a Color Revolution against its democratically elected and legitimate government ahead of parliamentary elections in September. I explained how this process works in detail in a chapter from my 2015 book on Hybrid Warfare about “The Color Revolution Model: An Exposé of the Core Mechanics” which should be read by those who are unfamiliar with this concept. According to my model, Navalny is a core operative surrounded by a close circle of cohorts who help him carry out the attempted destabilization of his homeland. Their efforts, including the debunked video about President Putin’s alleged “palace”, are aimed at attracting sympathizers misled into supporting their campaign.
While those who participate in unauthorized and especially violent protests are unquestionably breaking the law, it’s unfair to describe them all as foreign proxies even though those who’ve misled them definitely are. They’re responsible for their actions and should face justice accordingly, but their crimes are of a completely different caliber than their leaders’. Recent statements from President Putin, spy chief Naryshkin, and Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zakharova confirm that Navalny is actually a NATO agent. The Russian President first hinted at this in mid-December during his year-end review when telling the nation in response to a question asked of him on this topic that “this patient of a Berlin clinic has the support of the special services, those of the United States in this particular case.”
The FSB’s release earlier this month of surveillance footage recorded in the early 2010s showing one of Navalny’s close associates asking a suspected British spy in Moscow for cash and intelligence might just be the tip of the iceberg showing how far back his collusion with foreign governments goes. This was followed by Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zakharova saying on 9 February that Navalny and his ilk shouldn’t be described as members of the so-called “opposition” but as “agents of influence” after openly coordinating online with several foreign governments in an event organized under the NATO umbrella. Spy chief Naryshkin then chimed in to say that “The Russian Foreign Ministry is not wrong or exaggerating in its comments” that some anti-government individuals conspire with the special services of hostile foreign governments.
President Putin added on Sunday that “This figure is used right now, exactly at the point when in all countries in the world – ours included – people are growing tired and accumulate irritation and discontent about their living conditions and the level of their incomes.” The Russian leader also clarified, however, that “irritation is accumulating [in the society]: there are lots of problems and scarce funds. People can be understood.” This latter remark can be interpreted as expressing sympathy with people’s frustrations over the past year since the onset of World War C, my term for referring to the full-spectrum paradigm-changing processes catalyzed by the world’s uncoordinated efforts to contain COVID-19. Like I also wrote in March 2018 following President Putin’s address to the federal assembly, “It’s Okay To Constructively Criticize Russia, Even President Putin Does It!”
Those of his compatriots who are increasingly dissatisfied with the difficult conditions of the modern day aren’t doing anything wrong by making their feelings known, but they mustn’t break the law by participating in unauthorized and especially violent protests after being misled by foreign-backed Color Revolution demagogues such as Navalny. This is a pragmatic stance by the Russian President since it acknowledges the objectively existing reality that the situation is far from perfect in Russia today (just like everywhere across the world), that there’s nothing wrong with talking about it or feeling frustrated, but that these sentiments mustn’t be exploited by anti-state forces for illegal regime change ends. With the upcoming parliamentary elections in a little over half a year’s time, Russians can peacefully and responsibly make their voices heard at the polls instead.
Those that accuse others of being “foreign proxies” just because they don’t express complete satisfaction with the current state of affairs are committing a serious disservice that might even inadvertently further radicalize some at-risk members of the population. This also includes folks misled into joining unauthorized and especially violent protests. Contrary to Western claims, Russia is indeed a democracy even though it implements its own national variant of this governing model. Everyone has the right to peacefully and responsibly share their views about anything so long as they follow the law while doing so, and if President Putin of all people can constructively criticize the state of affairs in the country that he himself leads, then so too can everyone else living there as well. Legal dissent is allowed, but illegal participation in unauthorized and violent protests isn’t.
What makes Navalny so dangerous isn’t that he’s a “pro-Western liberal, anti-migrant nationalist, or political opportunist” like RT described him, but that he’s attempting to mislead dissatisfied people — and increasingly even children — into breaking the law by exploiting their frustrations with the state of affairs. The content of his political platform isn’t as bad as the means through which he’s seeking to implement it. This NATO agent is manipulating people for the purpose of provoking a Color Revolution, hoping that the authorities’ legally justified but sometimes forceful response to his illegal protests can be decontextualized, misreported, and then weaponized to incite a self-sustaining cycle of unrest. That’s why President Putin’s latest words are so wise since he showed that he sympathizes with the dissatisfied but informed them of how they’re being misled.