Alexei Navalny plans to return to Moscow tonight on a Pobeda flight. The Kremlin – the same bunch who ordered him killed in August 2020 – is likely to arrest him on whatever charges their lackeys are capable of trumping up quickly. It might happen at the arrival gate. The Kremlin’s agents will also do their best to prevent a large crowd of Navalny’s supporters from meeting and greeting him upon arrival.
They could try to accomplish both by having agents provocateurs cause a disruption or fighting in the crowd in order to accuse Navalny of causing the violence and arrest him on those charges, and to portray his supporters as unruly extremists, perhaps even comparing them to those who stormed the US Capitol on January 6.
It’s also possible that the plane would be diverted to another airport, although I’d expect a crowd at each of Moscow’s four major ones, just not so large as in Vnukovo.
And of course I expect the Kremlin to target the activists close to Navalny, just like they charged his camera operator with extremism earlier this week.
These activists are incredibly courageous and hard-working people. They have to endure the daily strain and stress of functioning under unyielding pressure from the authorities and a constant risk of arrest. Navalny’s bravery seems almost suicidal but is none the less admirable for that. These people are towering over and above millions of their typically timid, pessimistically apprehensive sympathizers (including myself). Perhaps the leaders’ resolve will strengthen and embolden these weaker souls. I’d like to hope so even as I’m trying to suppress false hopes and unreasonable expectations in my mind.