Saturday, April 17, 2021

By Calling Putin and Not Raising Navalny Issue, Biden has ‘Betrayed Democratic Russia,’ Activists Say

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 14 – Aleksey Melnikov, a member of the bureau of the Yabloko party, says that Joe Biden has “betrayed” Russian democrats by calling Vladimir Putin whom the US president had earlier acknowledged is a murder and shown himself to be “a cynical politician interested only in his own country.”

            “America is a global power which promotes the values of freedom and human rights,” or so Russian democrats had always assumed. But “now with regard to Russia, there is an end to this … From now on [what Putin does in Russia] is our internal affair. Only our suffering, pain and struggle ( at

            What this means is that Russian democrats should no longer pay attention to what America says. “We here must solve our problems,” Melnikov says, “without considering their opinion and ignoring their understanding of what is happening inside our country.” Any meeting of the two leaders will be about “drawing spheres of influence.”

            It will be about Realpolitik and a balance of forces, one that may have some positive impact as far as Ukraine is concerned but “inside Russia,” as a result, then “the powers that be will be able to do what they want.” American will act as if these things don’t “concern” it, the Yabloko leader says.

            “We are democratic Russia; from now on for America we are no one at all. Biden has given us a lesson. America no longer has allies within Russia. Biden has destroyed them.”

            Other Russian democrats have been somewhat less radical in their criticism, but many are upset that Biden in calling Putin did not bother to raise the Navalny case, a failure that is “a poor sign” that sends precisely the wrong message to the Kremlin leader (

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