The Moscow Times:
Yulia Latynina writes in the Moscow Times that the real reason Navalny was released pending appeal only a day after being convicted was simply to torture him. She argues that decision-making is paralysed in Russia, with President Vladimir Putin alone making major decisions, meaning that only the President had the authority to release Navalny.
Latynina states that Putin always humiliates his political enemies, making it easier to silence them. She points to the case of former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky; during his first trial, the authorities implied that if he would apologise for his alleged crimes, his sentence would be suspended. They also hinted that if he pleaded guilty, he could possibly receive a pardon. Both suggestions were made to humiliate him, but Khodorkovsky refused both on principle.
According to Latynina, Navalny went through a similar experience during his own trial, with the authorities suggesting that he ask for mercy, admit guilt and possibly receive a pardon. Navalny was told not to run in the Moscow mayoral election and instead claim that he could not collect enough signatures from municipal deputies. After all, they said, many of them are from United Russia, the party he denounced as ‘crooks and thieves’ – it would make sense that they would not endorse you.
Once Navalny had spent a cold, damp night in the cells after his conviction, the authorities believed that he would never again dare to question the Russian authorities. However, it seems that this time, the game hasn’t worked.
Read the full article here.