As for Yulia Navalnaya, Aleksei Navalny’s wife, chances of her becoming a Russian version of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya [the current leader of the Belarusian opposition forces] are “growing at an exponential rate.”
The detention of Aleksei Navalny, the famous Russian opposition activist, triggered an enormous controversy not only in Russia but also in the Western countries. As announced earlier, he came back to Moscow on a Pobeda airline flight on January 17. A number of Western politicians and major media outlets have already expressed scathing denunciation of the Russian government's actions. Moreover, threats of new sanctions have been voiced. Meanwhile, the Kremlin has traditionally kept silent. It pretends that the situation around Navalny’s comeback is of little concern to the Russian Presidents. For example, Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said that Vladimir Putin had not followed the events of Sunday, January, 17 because it was his last day of vacation.
Alexei Navalny was detained and taken to the police station in Khimki, a township in the Moscow region. Police officers refused to let a lawyer see him. They said that it was too late and Navalny was sleeping. However, the lawyer got to Navalny in the morning of January 18.
Meanwhile, the expert community has gone over to a new stage of discussions about the consequences of being put behind bars for Navalny himself, for the off-parliament Russian opposition, and much more. For example, Valery Solovey, a popular Russian political analyst and doctor of historical science, together with the hosts of the Echo of Moscow radio station, tried to predict Yulia Navalnya’s prospects in terms of public perception of her personality as "the Russian Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.”
By the way, when Solovey was asked whether to expect any protest actions in connection with Navalny’s detention in the near future, he said that it is difficult to give a precise answer. In this case, to his thinking, "the mass dynamics remain unpredictable." Interestingly, he called a protest action a critical factor which the Kremlin, as the people who decide on the fate of Navalny would consider it as the most important indicator.
As for his wife, the chances of her becoming the Russian version of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya are “growing at an exponential rate.”
“I believe that his wife would be quite capable of acting in this role if she steps into his shoes,” said Solovey. “The thing is that Yulia Navalnya might be blackmailed. There's no doubt about that right now. However, I suppose she and her husband have provided for this option. She is highly likely to be blackmailed and told that it is on her further behavior that her husband's fate will depend."