The way things work

Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition leader, has been under house arrest since February. He is serving a suspended sentence for “embezzlement” and has recently been indicted for “fraud”. His campaign team is being investigated for stealing donations. In other words, the Kremlin’s judicial lapdogs are biting at him on every side, although they have not been quite unleashed yet.

This morning, at 4 am (!), cops knocked on the door of Navalny’s Moscow apartment again. They had a search warrant, they explained. Not just cops, by the way, but a mixed team of cops and FSB agents. What did they find and seize? Navalny’s military service record, three old invoices and a poster.

Apparently it was an original poster by an artist from Vladimir, an old city 200 km east of Moscow. Hours before the search, the artist had – allegedly – reported the poster stolen. That’s why the cops woke up Navalny’s two kids at 4 am. (The law only allows night searches in emergency cases such as murder, hostage-taking or terrorism.) Navalny thinks the search was to spite him in a petty way and put extra pressure on his family.

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