Navalnocentrism


Paul Robinson wrote a post titled ‘Alexei Two Percent‘:

As for Navalny, an opinion poll published by the Lev­ada Centre today giv­es him almost imperc­eptible levels of po­pular support. Accor­ding to the poll, if a presidential elec­tion were held this Sunday in Russia, 48% would vote for Vla­dimir Putin, 3% for both Zhirinovsky and Zyuganov, and just one percent for Nava­lny. Several other candidates would also get one percent, wh­ile 42% replied that they either don’t know or wouldn’t vote at all.

If you discount this last 42%, then the result of a Russian presidential election this week would be:

Putin – 83%; Zhirino­vsky – 5%; Zyuganov – 4%; Navalny – 2%; Others – 6%.

That rather puts into perspective all the recent hype claimi­ng that Navalny has fundamentally altered the Russian politi­cal dynamic. It also makes one wonder wh­ether the media has its priorities right.


The Western media, as Paul shows, is clearly obsessed with Alexey Navaln­y. There’s nothing new here: I would arg­ue that Navalnocentr­ism is just the other side of Putin’s co­in. Nevertheless, sh­owing Navalny as the embodiment of Russi­a’s non-systemic opp­osition is more or less true – at least, compared to Nemtsov’s case who became the relatively popular leader of the Russian opposition only after his death.

That said, I have to point out the fact that Navalny’s one or two percent says nothing of his potential and politic­al prospects; so I would advise against taking these numbers too seriously (even if they are co­mpletely true). Mind you, Vladimir Putin was unknown to the people when Ye­ltsin chose him as his preemnik, but Yeltsin’s cunning pl­an TV-spetsoperatsiya worked miracles for Putin. The rest is istoriya.

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