Many folks are scratching their heads wondering why in the world Russian anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny would return to the same country that he claimed had unsuccessfully tried to kill him last year, yet that's exactly what he inexplicably decided to do over the weekend. He had previously been receiving treatment at a Berlin hospital after being poisoned by an unknown chemical substance that the Western Mainstream Media claims was Russian-produced Novichok, though Moscow vehemently denies the allegations. After all, conventional wisdom suggests that the Kremlin wouldn't have let Navalny leave Russia for Germany in the first place had it truly wanted to assassinate him. In any case, the information warfare narrative recently being spun by hostile forces is that Russia is a so-called “rogue regime” which deserves to be aggressively isolated from the international community, including through the possible imposition of more sanctions against it.
Most observers expected Navalny to live out the rest of his days abroad acting as a symbolic but politically insignificant “opposition” figure as this blogger has been popularly but wrongly described by many. He therefore surprised everyone by recently announcing that he'll return home despite the authorities promising to detain him for his probation violations, which they ultimately ended up doing true to their word, with a court ruling that it'll last until 15 February. This sequence of events in turn prompted incoming National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan to lambast the Kremlin for following its own laws, which was followed by Russian Foreign Minister spokeswoman Maria Zakharova reminding him to respect international law by not encroaching on the national legislation of sovereign states. Shortly thereafter, the British and German Foreign Ministers echoed Sullivan's demand that Navalny be immediate released. As can obviously be seen, this incident is being exploited for clear information warfare purposes against Russia.
With that in mind, it convincingly appears as though Navalny timed his provocatively senseless return to Russia to coincide with the run-up to Biden's inauguration on Wednesday. The purpose in doing so was to establish the “publicly plausible” pretext for for the incoming president to intensify his country's anti-Russian crusade following Navalny's detainment in response to his probation violations. Nord Stream II has always been the real target all along, not so-called the promotion of so-called “democracy” and “human rights” in Russia, as was obvious the moment that foreign figures started calling for sanctions against that project shortly after news about Navalny's poisoning last summer was first reported. Biden also plans to assemble an “Alliance of Democracies” as part of the US' forthcoming soft power push aimed at connecting its geographically disparate network of allies so giving them a “unifying cause” to rally around by condemning Navalny's detainment could serve to advance that grand strategic objective as well.
It shouldn't be forgotten that President Putin accused Navalny (though not by name since he prefers to use the euphemism “Berlin patient”) of cooperating with US intelligence agencies during his year-end press conference last month which adds credence to the author's interpretation of recent events as being part of a preplanned Hybrid War provocation for the previously explained ends. Navalny never truly felt that his own government tried to kill him last summer otherwise he'd have never returned to the scene of the crime if that was the case. Nor, for that matter, would his intelligence handlers have allowed him to do so. They only want him to serve as an “opposition” icon, a role which they concluded that he'd more effectively play while in Russia (whether jailed or free) than living abroad in Germany for example. That's why he mysteriously decided to return home over the weekend, which in and of itself debunks his own prior claims that the Kremlin unsuccessfully tried to kill him. The real purpose of his return is to rally the “opposition” and “justify” sanctions against Nord Stream II.