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For the third day in a row, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been subject of homages at the Moscow cemetery where he was buried on Friday. His death in strange circumstances - something more than usual when it comes to opponents of Vladimir Putin - in an Arctic prison, has awoken a current of sympathy for Navalny, which arises in confrontation to the campaign that the Russian president is carrying out for the elections on March 17th. Putin is silent, the official media avoid the issue and no one doubts that in two weeks he will be re-elected.

This does not mean that after Navalny's murder - because all the signs point to the death not being accidental - things in Russia will continue as before. The long lines at the Borissov cemetery, disobeying the regime's official position, are a small hope that part of the Russian people have stopped being afraid of the dictator and have no objection to standing up and taking a stand. The extensive police deployment was not enough to demobilize Navalny's supporters, who saw in the activist a hope for an end to the Kremlin's autarky.

The long lines at the Borissov cemetery are a small hope that a part of the Russian people have stopped being afraid of the dictator

But following one of the Russian regime's old traditions, opponents are not well regarded. For one reason or another, they all end up disappearing, assassinated or poisoned. All this in the middle of the war with Ukraine, in which Putin has carried out the largest military and civilian mobilization in recent decades and which in February had been underway for two years. The war's descent into chronic status has led to a level of wear and tear that he did not count on, in addition to a mobilization of economic resources and an open confrontation with the West.

But Putin has applied an iron fist and used the majority loyalty he has in the army - when it has not been so, he has carried out appropriate purges in military leadership - to avoid any kind of criticism that could have arisen. The tight control of domestic politics has made it possible for him to give Russian public opinion a very distant view of what is happening in Ukraine. Although it is also true that lately the support for Zelenskyy has been decreasing and in the surveys drawn up among European citizens, a certain weariness over the assistance to Ukraine has been detected.

In this context, Navalny once again places the West in front of the mirror, and facing the choice to allow an autocrat like Putin to continue doing what he wants or to put limits on his actions.