Leonid Volkov is Navalny’s long-standing campaign manager.
День хороших новостей: и аль-Башир и Ассанж явно засиделись, и по аль-Баширу и по Ассанжу давно плачет суд, и аль-Башира и Ассанжа ни капли не жалко.
— Leonid Volkov (@leonidvolkov) April 11, 2019
Translation: “A day of good news: Al-Bashir and Assange have overstayed their welcome, both are in need of a court, and neither deserve a drop of pity.”
One problem of Russian liberals from Novodvorskaya down to Navalny is that they are not so much liberals as American stooges*. This would be Exhibit #532,783.
There are plenty of niches for oppositionism in Russia. There is a niche for more social welfare. There is a niche for nationalism. There is a niche for anti-corruption. There are even niches for human rights from Internet freedoms to LGBT. But there is not much of a niche for American stoogedom.
I sometimes wonder what drives people like Volkov to so aggressively signal their subservience to America. It certainly can’t help their political prospects. I suppose their hatred of their own country is so deep that they just can’t help themselves.
That said, I feel that the new generations of Russian liberals appearing now seem to be a cut above the frankly cartoonishly Russophobic cohorts that emerged out of the sovok ruins (Kasyanov, Illarianov, Kasparov, Milov, Novodvorskaya, Shevtsova, Alexievich, etc, etc.).
For instance, here is the reaction of Mikhail Svetov, who is the main face of Russia’s libertarians:
Часто спрашивают, почему я ещё не уехал. Потому что во всём мире происходит всё то же самое. Если ты борешься за свободу, а не против России, то бежать некуда.
— Mikhail Svetov (@msvetov) April 11, 2019
Translation: “They often ask me why I haven’t left. Because the same is happening all across the world. If you fight for freedom, as opposed to against Russia, then you don’t have anywhere to run to.”
This seems to be the more typical reaction amidst the under 25’s liberal crowd.
* Another, directly related example from a few years from 2012: Konstantin von Eggert’s defense of Assange’s persecution.