"I believe that at the moment, Vladimir Putin is in fear. The Russian President is sitting in a bunker and is very much afraid of what is happening in Russia," Rasa Juknevičienė said in an interview with Moscow-based reporters.
Almost two days have passed since the detention of Alexey Navalny, the widely known leader of Russia’s off-parliament opposition. Since then, the organizers of this action have knocked up some pretty interesting schemes. First, they sent him to a police station in Khimki, a suburban town to the northwest of Moscow. Later, his lawyer was not allowed to see Navalny. Then, there was a bizarre and urgent "visiting session in Khimki," after which Navalny was arrested for a month. However, it is only a part of the story. The first court session on the criminal case opened against Navalny is to take place in early February which is the shortest time possible for a serious case like this.
In the meantime, the international response to the situation was stormy. Major European politicians and Western media condemned the actions of the Russian authorities and demanded that Alexey Navalny be released. Moreover, some of their statements even went beyond the "official narrative style" and usual diplomacy. On the air of Radio Liberty, Rasa Juknevičienė, a member of the European Parliament, described the situation as evidence of changing Russia and changing Putin. She linked the story with Navalny’s arrest and detention to the "fear" that, in her opinion, the Russian President felt at the moment.
“Today, we are observing how the situation in Russia is becoming completely different,” Rasa Juknevičienė said in an interview with the Russian reporters. “No matter how hard Putin tries to maintain the image of a strong man who no one can order to let Navalny go, or vice versa, not to let him go. In fact, he has been losing influence. Vladimir Putin is visibly weakening.”
“He has faced a lot of high-profile defeats lately. He even lost the recent elections in Moldova where the Kremlin openly supported the candidacy of former President Igor Dodon. In addition, Putin has lost the support of most Ukrainians. In 2020, his image started turning increasingly toxic in the perception of the Belarusian residents as well.
I believe that at the moment, the Russian President is in fear. Sitting in a bunker, Vladimir Putin is very much afraid of what is happening around Russia.”