“Nothing to fear but fear itself”

By Philippe SchockweilerLex Kleren

Alexey Navalny. For a decade the regime critic has shed a light on the corruption in Russia. After his return and arrest in Russia, his bravery and trial has sparked nationwide protests. 2000 kilometres further west, activists in Luxembourg fight for a democratic Russia.

Political change is slow. Political change in Russia is even slower. But one man has dramatically sped up the process in the past years: Alexey Anatolievich Navalny. With Navalny now back in jail, fake-tried and sent to a labour camp, he, who’s name according to many reports is not to be mentioned in the Kremlin, wanted without any doubt to set an example of bravery and defiance. In this political climate, fear is the crucial factor. This angst is felt even by activists that fight for democracy in Russia here in Luxembourg.

A new collective of expat Russians and Luxembourgers of Russian descent has formed in the Grand-Duchy. They call themselves “Collectif Russes de l’étranger contre la corruption”. We spoke with Mila (identity changed), a young college educated professional that has spent more than half of her life in Luxembourg, has Luxembourgish citizenship and a bleeding heart for her native country. Her determination can be felt when you talk to her. Even if her face always wears a hesitant yet reassuringly warm smile, her piercing eyes bear witness to her relentless quest for justice, democracy and a better tomorrow. Mila tells the Lëtzebuerger Journal how very painful it is to be separated from family and friends in these times. On the other hand, she is very proud about the huge protests that have sparked hope: “The protests following the detention of Navalny are quite substantial! All major cities are taking part in protests. This really started in the far East but it shows the scale of this mass upheaval and the mass dissatisfaction of ordinary people!”

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