On April 27, Alexey Navalny was assaulted right in front of his office. A man ran up to him from behind and splashed a mixture of brilliant green dye mixed with unknown chemical into Alexey’s face. As a result, Navalny’s right eye got severely damaged. He even had to undergo an expensive operation in Spain to recover his eyesight. The police was reluctant to start the investigation and gather evidence at first, but after a couple of days the criminal case was opened under the oversight of Prosecutor’s Office. Vladimir Putin himself stated that no political slogans can justify violence and people should not be assaulted simply for their political views. Everything seemed quite well, until recently Navalny’s lawyers received a notice from the Prosecutor’s Office. It stated that the case won’t be taken from the police to the Investigative Committee for a more thorough investigation, and that the police actually stopped the investigation, because the suspects couldn’t be apprehended. In other words, the police was unable to find the assailant and his accomplices, because, presumably, they hid themselves really well.
Things like this do happen sometimes, and there wouldn’t be anything extraordinary or outrageous about this if not for one small detail: the attackers were actually identified by internet users within a matter of hours after the incident. They turned out to be quite famous radical activists who have close ties to the police and had carried out numerous assaults on opposition members before, but always seemed to get away with it without too many problems. Therefore, it is safe to assume that the police was informed about the assault on Alexey Navalny in advance and deliberately refused to take any real action against the assailants.
This situation becomes even sadder if we remember how the police recently stormed Navalny’s campaign headquarters, arresting volunteers and confiscating (i.e. stealing) huge amounts of promotional materials. It is fairly obvious that Russian police does have more than enough forces to conduct complex operations and apprehend the real criminals, but prefers to use them against harmless and unarmed opposition activists instead.
Alexey Navalny provided an extensive commentary on this topic in his latest video (with english subtitles).