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World Will Biden respond to Putin's latest attack on Navalny?

13:10  26 september  2021
13:10  26 september  2021 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

Navalny app removed from online stores as Russian polls open

  Navalny app removed from online stores as Russian polls open MOSCOW (AP) — An app created by allies of imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny disappeared from Apple and Google stores on Friday as polls opened across Russia for three days of voting in a parliamentary election. It comes as Russian authorities seek to suppress the use of Smart Voting, a project designed by Navalny to promote candidates that are most likely to defeat those backed by the Kremlin. This weekend's election is widelyIt comes as Russian authorities seek to suppress the use of Smart Voting, a project designed by Navalny to promote candidates that are most likely to defeat those backed by the Kremlin.

Already languishing in a Russian gulag, Alexei Navalny was hit with new criminal charges on Wednesday.

Alexei Navalny in a blue shirt © Provided by Washington Examiner

These charges are designed to keep the journalist and opposition leader imprisoned in perpetuity. This Russian action is thus a test for President Joe Biden. The president has said he will take action to uphold Navalny's basic human rights. Will he now do so?

It's unlikely.

As we're seeing in Afghanistan, Biden isn't terribly interested in the human rights of American allies. Moreover, and contrary to most media reporting, Biden has largely been unwilling to challenge Putin's aggression.

Russia goes to the polls amid crackdown on political dissent

  Russia goes to the polls amid crackdown on political dissent Millions of Russians are expected to head to the polls over a three-day period starting Friday in elections taking place against the backdrop of an unprecedented assault on democracy over the past year. © Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images A woman votes in Moscow on September 17, 2021. Voters will choose members of the State Duma -- the lower house of the Russian Parliament -- as well as several regional and municipal heads. The ruling United Russia party, which backs President Vladimir Putin, is widely expected to win a majority.

True, former President Donald Trump sometimes was not much better as he often and absurdly deluded himself as to Putin's intentions. In functional policy terms, however, Trump's overall record against Putin was tougher than that of Biden. Where Trump worked to kill off Putin's Nord Stream II energy pipeline to Europe, Biden cut an absurd deal that will see the pipeline's completion. Biden has thus helped Germany support Putin's energy extortion and his destabilizing of NATO's eastern flank. Where Trump authorized aggressive intelligence operations against Russia, especially in cyberspace, Biden appeases Russian ransomware attacks.

Still, this latest targeting of Navalny is highly predictable.

Navalny's FBK anti-corruption group has already been banned by Russia on the grounds of being an extremist organization. But Navalny now faces charges for establishing the FBK in a way "that infringes on the [reputation] and rights of citizens." Indicating their political motive, prosecutors are also targeting Navalny for his organizing of unauthorized protests.

Apple and Google join Putin's KGB

  Apple and Google join Putin's KGB Betraying their supposedly sacred commitment to human rights, Apple and Google bowed to Vladimir Putin's oppression on Friday.They did so by removing a so-called "Smart Voting" app from the Russian app stores. And they did it on the very same day that voting began in the Russian parliamentary (Duma) elections.

These charges come from the Investigative Committee of Russia, a federal law enforcement entity that is focused on weakening Putin's critics. Led by Alexander Bastrykin, a Putin crony and plagiarist who is under U.S. sanctions, the committee conducts some actual law enforcement work. But it also targets those who upset the regime while protecting regime allies. I can attest to this personally. I understand that the committee has charged me as a terrorist under the pretext of a 2018 article I wrote. It is more likely that the charges are actually intended as retaliation over my investigative journalism into Russian intelligence activities.

Regardless, Putin is gambling that if he keeps throwing trumped-up charges against his political nemesis, Navalny will never again see the light of a free day. And the longer he's imprisoned, the threats to Navalny's life will only grow. Recall that this time last year, the FSB attempted to assassinate Navalny in a botched nerve agent attack.

Dirty tricks, clone candidates and arrests: Russia's parliamentary elections begin

  Dirty tricks, clone candidates and arrests: Russia's parliamentary elections begin A torrent of dirty tricks, manipulation and repression around Russia's parliamentary elections where Kremlin wants a convincing win for its ruling party United Russia. The veteran anti-Kremlin opposition politician is running against two men who have legally changed their names to be the same as his. They have even altered their appearances on the ballots, adopting beards to resemble him.

As a candidate, Biden pledged to stand up to Putin when the Russian leader shredded human rights and attacked the West. Biden recently failed that test in Syria. It's time for him to act. The U.S. should escalate its sanctions pressure on Putin's top cronies.

Alisher Usmanov, Roman Abramovich, Petr Aven, and Mikhail Fridman would be good places to start.

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Tags: Opinion, Beltway Confidential, Alexei Navalny, Russia, Corruption, Vladimir Putin, FSB, Foreign Policy, Human Rights, Joe Biden

Original Author: Tom Rogan

Original Location: Will Biden respond to Putin's latest attack on Navalny?

Russian investigators target Navalny in new 'extremism' probe .
Russian investigators on Tuesday launched a new "extremism" probe against jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and his top allies that could see the opposition leader spend up to 10 more years in jail. In recent months, the opposition leader and his allies have become targets of numerous probes that they and their supporters describe as the Kremlin's revenge for challenging Putin's two-decade-long rule.Navalny's groups were already banned as "extremist" earlier this year. The fresh probe comes after President Vladimir Putin's party this month shored up another five years in control of the lower house of parliament.

usr: 4
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