President Vladimir Putin has consistently refused to use the name of recently jailed democracy activist Alexei Navalny, calling him a “blogger” or, after his poisoning in Novichok and evacuation to Germany, “patient from Berlin”. Putin even said at his annual press conference in December that the anonymous man was not important enough to justify his death. Still, Putin admitted in a virtual meeting with college students on Monday that he took time out of his work schedule to watch clips from Navalny’s explosive video “Putin’s Palace: A Story of the Biggest Pot.” -de-vin ”, which documents the construction of one of the most lavish vacation retreats.
It was indeed the first time that Putin recognized the importance of Navalny, whose YouTube video grabbed Russia and generated nearly 90 million views worldwide.
Unlike the glowing portraits of Putin regularly produced by government-controlled Russian television, Putin is portrayed here as a nasty thief. In Navalny’s words: “Putin is a fool, who is obsessed with money and luxury and literally ready to destroy the country and kill for his chest of gold.”
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