On February 2, a Moscow court will decide whether to sentence Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny to three and a half years in prison. Over the past decade Russian authorities have opted not to imprison Navalny for long periods of time, despite launching numerous criminal cases against him. How has the Kremlin’s calculus changed? What will the court’s decision mean for Russia’s opposition movement? And how will the Biden administration respond to one of its first foreign policy tests? These questions and yours will guide discussion with FPRI’s Maia Otarashvili, Chris Miller, and Stephanie Petrella.
Stephanie Petrella is a Fellow in Eurasia Program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and Editor-in-Chief of the daily political economy news brief BMB Russia. Prior to her work at FPRI, Stephanie served as the Russia, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe specialist for the Reconnecting Asia program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Stephanie holds a B.A. in Russian and political science with a minor in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and has studied at the Moscow State Institute for International Relations (MGIMO).
Maia Otarashvili is a Research Fellow and Deputy Director of the Eurasia Program. She is co-editor of FPRI’s 2017 volume Does Democracy Matter? The United States and Global Democracy Support. Her research interests include geopolitics of the Black Sea-Caucasus region, democratization and authoritarian backsliding in the post-Soviet space, and Russian foreign policy. Her current work examines the post-Soviet frozen conflicts of Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Transnistria. Maia is a PhD candidate at the War Studies Department at King’s College, London. She holds an M.A. in Globalization, Development and Transition from the University of Westminster in London, with emphasis on post-authoritarian transitions.