Released in TIME magazine today great materialdedicated to the anniversary of the arrest of Alexei Navalny.
In addition, the journal published Alexey’s interview in Russian:
Did the decision to imprison you improve or worsen the situation for Putin?
I look at the big picture and still answer that they have done worse to themselves. This is obviously Putin’s personal emotional decision. At first I didn’t die from poisoning, then I didn’t turn into a vegetable, as the doctors feared, then I also had the audacity not only to return, but, already in Russia, to release an investigation into Putin’s personal corruption.
Just according to the logic “do not show weakness”, rejecting rational calculation, he acted. So what did you achieve? Well, I live in a box with sealed glass and go in boots and a pea jacket. AND? I’m sitting in my boots doing an interview with TIME magazine, and our “Smart Voting” drowned its candidates in all major cities. Plus a wave of emigration. Plus the anger of society. Plus, the only friend now is Lukashenka. And such a country will not receive investments. This means there will be no economic growth. But inflation is already 10% according to official data. Realistically – 15.
I’m not saying that my arrest was the cause of all this, but an important trigger in the chain of events, for sure. Still, Putin’s ideal is Singapore or China. Zero freedom, but economic growth, technology and foreigners lining up with investments.
And now, instead of a huge nuclear Singapore, or at least the USSR 2.0 with yachts and Mercedes, you are standing on the podium for the parade and your only foreign guest is the President of Tajikistan. And instead of technology and growth, computer animation about mythical new weapons.
Perhaps that is why we do not know a single politician in history who would be good after 10 years of sole power. They just stop seeing the big picture and start acting up, acting emotionally.
However, to be honest, even if a sober analysis showed that everything that happened would have made me worse, and not the Putin regime, I would still have returned. I just knew that I had to do it.