MOSCOW – Russia’s main opposition leader Alexei Navalny is disturbing Russia’s laziest month. As in Soviet times, the New Year holiday stretches halfway through January, allowing for Russians to drink, eat oranges and watch nostalgic 1970s romantic comedies. Politics usually gets put on hold — but perhaps not this year, with Navalny’s return from Berlin earlier this week, following his poisoning last August.
The end of 2020 already signaled that this January would be different, because we Russians learned that Navalny was the target of a murder plot that was almost certainly carried out at the Kremlin’s behest. Instead of protecting us, the FSB, the Russian intelligence service and successor to the KGB, has been busy trying to eliminate the regime’s opponents.