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Why opposition leader Alexei Navalny returned to Russia after poisoning

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny shocked the world last year when he recovered from an attempted assassination plot by poisoning — an attempt that bore all the fingerprints of the Russian government. Then he shocked the world again by returning to Russia and timing that return with the release of an hours-long documentary that catalogued the Putin regime's extensive history of corruption. Virtually no one, therefore, was shocked when he was immediately sentenced to a lengthy prison term. Anne Applebaum, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and expert on authoritarian regimes, believes there was a method to Navalny's madness. "His decision of '….I'm going to do something that harms me personally, but is going to be a lesson for Russians. I'm going teach a generation of Russians how to be brave.' I mean, not very many people would have the guts to do that."

Applebaum's conversation with Ian Bremmer is part of the latest episode of GZERO World, airing on public television stations nationwide starting Friday, March 5. Check local listings.

Putin worried by massive protests in Russia

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, with the view from Europe as Russian protests continue:

Is Vladimir Putin worried about protests in Russia?

You bet he's worried. I mean, what we've seen during the last week is all, sort of, the PR gimmicks in order to try to diffuse the tension and spread sort of disinformation on the nature of that particular palace. And then, of course, a massive, massive repression yesterday as we saw repeated protests all across Russia, primarily in Moscow and St. Petersburg. But as we saw last weekend as well, all over the place. So, Putin is distinctly worried.

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