Here’s some key perspectives from the American press on yesterday’s surprising Alexei Navalny verdict – consensus suggests that a strong electoral campaign has brought Navalny the recognition he needed in order to remain safe, but enough support to ensure the Kremlin’s need to put a cap on his political ambitions.
‘The decision, by Judge Albert A. Prytkov, left the sense that Mr. Navalny, 37, had won his freedom by defying expectations with his strong showing in the election, elevating his status and cementing his position as the main political opponent of President Vladimir V. Putin.’ (NYTimes)
“It’s impossible to jail a politician for whom more than 600,000 people have voted.” (Dmitry Gudkov, opposition legislator) (WSJ)
‘While Navalny’s chants of “We are the power!” came to define the protests, he will likely become a less visible participant in coming years. Even detention at a protest could convert his suspended sentence into a real one.’ (Washington Post)