The famous Russian sociologist Sergey Belanovsky drew attention to an important circumstance: in fact, the failure with the poisoning of Navalny gave him a unique chance to lead the protest movement in the country with no alternative.
“...Before the poisoning, many were skeptical about the possibility of Navalny to become an opposition leader. But now the situation has changed. The main thing, in my opinion, is that Navalny cannot now be removed from the political field. Re-poison, shoot, plant, etc. - you can't. Even pouring green paint is no longer possible - indignation will resonate in all corners of the world.
The modern Russian authorities are already overflowing with scandals. At one time, the USSR stumbled upon this border. There was talk at the top that the Great Power could not behave like an elephant in a china shop. I read a certain document from the Central Committee of the CPSU with the stamp of the DSP, where it was said literally (a transcript of the speech of one figure from the Central Committee).
If Navalny becomes untouchable, he can dramatically expand his activities. I think he will take advantage of this. As well as its international fame.
Putin missed (or rather, ruined himself) the opportunity to more or less calmly organize Operation Successor. Nazarbayev managed. Of course, in Russia it would be much more difficult to carry out such an operation, the chances of success would not be 100%, but one could at least try.
Indirectly, Navalny defended other activists, including Valery Solovy. I think that new poisonings can no longer be feared.
Until recently, the only significant political brand in Russia was Putin. Its brand is weakening, collapsing, but it retains its strength due to political monopoly (total cleaning of the political field). Attempts to create an alternative brand have been successful but have not been successful. They were mostly suppressed. In such a situation, the one who, despite the resistance of the authorities, nevertheless creates an alternative brand, will become a monopolist in this clearing. The monopolist may have disadvantages, but there will be no alternative. It seems to me that at the elections for the mayor of Moscow Navalny acted precisely as a protest monopolist and received an unprecedented number of votes for a non-systematic candidate.
Protest monopoly can appear only in conditions of a total cleansing of the political field. To do this, you have to risk your head. And, oddly enough, sometimes the risk pays off. A certain analogy can be drawn with Sakharov and Solzhenitsyn during the Soviet era. They did not apply for elected office, but created an amazing situation in which the powerful nuclear state did not know what to do with these two people. They were never imprisoned and physically eliminated (both of them happened to lesser-known personalities). Solzhenitsyn was eventually exiled abroad, and they were afraid to do even that with Sakharov. They sent him to Nizhny Novgorod, from where he continued to perform.
Navalny, of course, is not like Sakharov or Solzhenitsyn. But as a result of the poisoning, it was made a monopoly alternative brand. At the very least, they created all the conditions for him to become such. The main thing is that he became inviolable. Now he will be able to afford much more than before. Become an alternate elephant in a china shop. By the way, such a development of events makes me think that they tried to kill him seriously. You never know why a man died on the plane ...
What can the authorities do to prevent Navalny's monopoly on the protest glade? That's right, create alternative protest brands. Or not to prevent their occurrence. But spoilers will not create competition for Navalny. They are too boring and toothless. And real competitors can push aside Navalny and crush the protest glade. Moreover, the rating of each of them will not be so high. But all together they will tear apart Putin's monopoly to shreds. And even more so, his successor, if any. I'm not sure the authorities will agree to this option. They will try to get by with spoilers, although this is a deliberately losing strategy.
Some people like Navalny, some don't. In the face of political competition, there might be figures that seem more attractive. But there is no competition. And Navalny is a strong-willed politician who can take advantage of his position. I think that he will not be afraid to risk his head further (the risk is 100%, of course, unavoidable). This means that his monopoly protest brand will grow stronger. Until recently, I was sure that there was no chance for him to become president. And now I'm not so sure of this anymore..."