Putin Just Sent Your New Boyfriend To Jail Again. HELLO, NEW BOYFRIEND.
In our inevitable dystopian future, when Sergey Kislyak is the President and lives in The Red House, we better hope we get a hero like THIS GUY.
Alexey Navalny, your new boyfriend, is the Russian Jason Bourne. Except he's real!!!! As an activist, lawyer and leader of the Progress Party, Navalny has spearheaded Russian opposition to Vladimir Putin. This week he was sentenced to yet another 15-day stint in jail for resisting arrest.
In 2014, Navalny was sentenced to three years in a prison labor colony on trumped-up embezzlement charges. Facing a backlash from its own citizens and international human right groups, the Russian government released him. But they held his brother Oleg on equally spurious charges, and he remains in jail today. DO NOT FUCK WITH ALEXEY!
This weekend, Navalny and his followers mounted their biggest demonstration yet, with some 25,000 marching in Moscow and tens of thousands more protesting in cities across Russia. Although the demonstrators waved Russian flags and chanted, "We Want Answers," "You Can't Jail Everyone," and simply "Shame," Russian officials deemed the protest an illegal provocation. Police made over 1,000 arrests, beat protesters and ransacked Navalny's offices at the Anti-Corruption Foundation.
On March 2, Navalny released a film on Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (the person with whom Vladimir Putin trades off "president" and "prime minister" duties and thus never gets termed out!), which triggered the latest round of demonstrations. Calling it "corruption" really fails to capture the next level grift surrounding Medvedev. Narrated by Navalny himself, the movie is actually awesome, so YOU SHOULD TOTALLY WATCH IT RIGHT NOW!
Hacking into Medvedev's sock puppet email account, Navalny traces deliveries of the prime minister's distinctively ugly sportswear to giant estates in the Russian countryside and in Italy.
You stole a billion dollars, and you ordered THIS SHIRT?
Cool shoes, Comrade.
By total coincidence, these estates are owned by charities such as The Foundation of Socially Important Projects and The Foundation of Social and Cultural Initiatives, and more enigmatically, the Dar Foundation. In another astonishing coincidence, these charities own two yachts named after Medvedev's wife. Whodathunkit?!?!
Built as a "hotel" for Sochi, only has one guest.
Thirty-room Tuscan Villa with winery.
So, how did a humble civil servant come into possession of a billion dollars worth of real estate? It's kind of a funny story. Apparently, Russian oligarchs are so charitable that they donate these properties to wonderful social organizations like The Foundation of Socially Important Projects. Because they care!
Although the corruption scandal was not covered on state news channels, it was widely disseminated online. Russian Millennials were PISSED, and President Tsar Putin was NOT AMUSED.
You know who didn't give a crap, though?
Twenty-four hours of crickets from the Trump Administration as 1,000 human rights protesters were arrested and beaten. Almost like Donald Trump doesn't want to go on VIDEO and PISS off the RUSSIANS. But his own party won't let him off the HOOK(ER).
Yesterday, Republican Senator Ben Sasse threw some unsubtle shade at Trump and Ghost Secretary Tillerson.
Putin’s thugocracy is on full display. The United States government cannot be silent about Russia’s crackdown on peaceful protesters. Free speech is what we’re all about and Americans expect our leaders to call out thugs who trample the basic human rights of speech, press, assembly, and protest.
After which, the State Department grudgingly issued a mild rebuke.
U.S. condemns detention of 100s of peaceful protesters in #Russia today. Detaining peaceful protesters is an affront to democratic values.
— Department of State (@StateDept) March 27, 2017
Good to know our country is still a beacon of free speech and civil society. Nostrovia!
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.