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Navalny attack could be response to changing stakes in Russian politics, says analyst

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A protester holds a symbolic cup of tea as he comes to support Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in front of the building of the FSB,
A protester holds a symbolic cup of tea as he comes to support Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in front of the building of the FSB,   -   Copyright  AP Photo
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Dr. Samuel Greene is Director of the Russia Institute at King's College London. He says the attack on prominent Kremlin critic, Alexei Navalny could be due to the changing stakes in Russian politics.

"The enthusiasm for [President Vladimir Putin] around the country is weakening...Putin may feel, and some of his handlers may feel, that now is not the time to trifle with the opposition, particularly when they look at events in places like Belarus, where until recently leaders like Lukashenko felt very secure."

Germany called on Wednesday for a united diplomatic response to Russia after toxicology tests showed Navalny was poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent. Navalny is still in a coma at a Berlin hospital but doctors say his condition is improving.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said the attack was "aimed at the fundamental values and rights for which we stand."

To listen to the full interview with Dr. Samuel Greene, click on the media player above.