Carole Cadwalladr in The Guardian:
Two years ago this week, the leader of the Russian opposition, Alexei Navalny, flew into Moscow knowing that he faced certain arrest and imprisonment. It was an extraordinary act of courage and leadership. He had only just recovered from an attempt on his life after collapsing on a plane poisoned with what was later found to be the nerve agent novichok. He was not meant to survive.
“There was no way he wouldn’t have gone back to Moscow,” the investigative journalist Maria Pevchikh tells me. “That wasn’t even on the table.” As the head of investigations for the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), the organisation founded by Navalny, Pevchikh worked alongside him for a decade and was with him in Siberia when he was poisoned.
“We prepared for it very well,” she says of Navalny’s absence. And then hesitates. “It’s just a very noticeable loss. We’re fully functioning, probably better than before. But we lost a lot of our spirit. We do our work because we’re angry.”