Sophie Oksanin: Julia Navalnaga is Russia’s First Lady

Usually the Kremlin authorities do not withdraw to crush uncomfortable opponents. But Alexei Navalny is a special case. Poisoning and imprisonment have led even Western countries to speak more clearly of Navalny. The blame for the change of position should be attributed to Putin and the aggression that Russia has recently shown. Since changes on the latter issue are unlikely as long as Putin and his followers retain power, Navalny’s fate is a matter of all of us.

Participants in the demonstrations in support of Navalny represent a much larger sector of Russian society than ever before. Whether or not the protesters endorse Navalny’s political program, they are protesting Putin and his increasingly repressive regime. A protester outside the Russian embassy in Finland said that he was protesting the “Finnish” halt and expressed his hope that Finnish companies would change their approach to Russia. Corruption in Russia is a problem for everyone.

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Fortifications like Putin The building around his exercise of power shows no signs of fading, and Navalny’s anti-corruption program is an ambitious project in a country so rampant with corruption that it appears to infiltrate the country as a whole. Nevertheless, I would like to liken the video that Navalny revealed about Putin’s mansion and the words attributed to Marie Antoinette: “Let them eat the pretzels.”

The distance between Putin’s palace and reality is so great that it constitutes the same kind of mockery of people as the words of the Queen who ended her life in the guillotine. Putin is doing his best to promote the myth of the Great Patriotic War – one of the few patriotic myths that still connect different generations in Russia today. But at the same time, Navalny makes it easy to hear the familiar roar of the revolution in the background. In Russia, the day the Tsar was removed from the throne decades ago is celebrated.

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Politicians ’successes depend on their ability to evoke strong emotions, as well as on the stories they can be drawn into. Many have long waited for someone to step into shoes that were ready-made. Navalny can be given the role of the noble hero and the resurrected figure of Christ.

Julia Navalnaya arrives at the trial of her husband Alexei Navalny on February 2 this year.

Photo: Natalia Kolesnikova

My favorite in the story If Navalny was still his wife, Julia Navalnaga. Putin desperately tried to keep his private life out of the public eye and never allowed him to be seen alongside a woman who could seriously claim the title of First Lady of Russia. Navalny is always next to Julia Navalnaya, the mother of her children. The happy family life is highlighted not only on the contractors’ social media accounts, but also through the affection and appreciation they show for each other in public.

It is a love story that deserves a happy ending. This is a story Putin never saw. With this image in mind, it’s also easier to imagine a future in which the whole of Russia would be such a happy and loving family.

The Putin regime is using “soft power” to spread its message. On the one hand, Navalny subtly uses the soft power of imagination when building his own image without diminishing his family’s magic. I had never thought about what a “first lady” of Russia might look like. But thanks to Julia Navalnaga, I can now imagine her.

How many women in different generations did not wait for their husbands to return from the war, from the army, from prison or concentration camp

It is not difficult to enter Julia Navalnaga sees a mother who shares the concern all mothers feel for their children in a country where far too many sons die a meaningless death every year. And the current role of Navalnaga is very familiar in Russia. How many women in different generations have not waited for their husbands to return from war, from the army, from prison or concentration camp. It is a fate that the older generations know well. This also applies to the generation Navalny’s parents belonged to. A few days before Navalgenj was sentenced to prison, Julia posted a family photo with her parents on Instagram.

From a gender perspective, Navalnaga’s role might not be very progressive, but a person who is skeptical of traditional family values ​​can never unite as many different people in Russia as Navalny did. The public manifestation of tenderness in a country that pays homage to brutal leaders is a stark contrast to the aging superpower world that Putin embodies. Even when it is impossible for Navalnaya to hold her husband’s hand, she is at his side: during the fake trial, Navalny drew a heart with his finger on the glass that separated him from his wife. No wonder superstar Alla Pugacheva stopped following her ex-husband, who had criticized Navalny, on social media, and instead started following Navalny.

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Family-focused social media It can act as a Navalny life insurance policy. One cannot help but imagine the anger that would be directed at someone who transformed the mother of this happy and loving family into a widow or orphaned her children.

Navalny considers the Putin regime unethical and states that the system created by thieves and thieves should not be tolerated. This in and of itself is sufficient to influence the moral norms that determine what is permitted and what is not. Silence is often the same as negative acceptance of prevailing circumstances. Corruption is always preserved through the cycle of silence that must be broken before one begins to dream of a change.

Until now, the generations that have grown up under Putin have been unable to imagine anyone could replace him. There were no alternatives. Now the situation is different. It’s always the power of imagination that guides the first step on the road to change.

Footnote: “The Flanda.” The term was coined during the Soviet era. It indicates the adaptation of small states to their powerful neighbors.

English translation: Per Svensson

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