Thursday, January 21, 2021

Belarusian Opposition has People but Not a Leader while Russian One has a Leader but Not People, Denysenko Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, January 19 – Vadim Denysenko, a former Verkhovna Rada deputy, says that putting things in simplest terms, “the Belarusians have people but don’t have a leader” while the Russians have a leader but do not have people.” That distinction, he says in a blog post, defines the path of political development in the two countries.

            The former deputy who now heads the Ukrainian Institute of the Future says that Aleksey Navalny is either overrating his forces and going for broke or we do not know what he is thinking” (

            “I hope,” he says, that Navalny is not naïve enough to think that the West will come to his aid with more than expressions of concern and that he is in good enough health that he will not die soon in confinement and in this way sacrifice himself “on the altar of the struggle of the liberals against Putin.”

            Putin may be worried about Navalny, but “only real idealists can seriously speak about Putin’s exit from power in the near term and a speeding up of the transition of power. Now, Putin is preparing a placed des armes for his exit, and this preparation may take years. Mortally ill people conduct blitzkriegs and do not work on plans to hand over power,” Denysenko says.

            Up to the present, the former deputy continues, it appears that “Putin is playing with his entourage,” something that recalls what Mao did, who three times names a successor and then cast all of them aside. It may be that Putin is sicker than anyone knows, “but it is still far too early to write him off” – especially as he hasn’t said one word about a successor yet.

            The world’s media is fixated on Navalny and so one must pay attention to what it says, but one must not forget what one knows about political realities, Denysenko continues. Navalny isn’t about to enter the Kremlin with Putin leaving however much editorial writers and commentators may hope for that outcome.

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