Putin's crackdown will 'bring Russia to civil war,' predicts Litvinenko widow

6 February 2021, 13:36 | Updated: 6 February 2021, 13:56

By Seán Hickey

The widow of a former Russian secret service agent insists that Alexei Navalny has exposed how weak Putin's grasp on power is.

Marina Litvinenko is the widow of former FSB agent Alexander Litvinenko, who Scotland Yard believe to be poisoned by Russian state actors.

She spoke exclusively to Matt Frei as protests in Russia in support of Alexey Navalny rage on.

Matt argued that because numbers on the streets have dwindled amid footage of brutal crackdowns circulate, "cracking skulls is brutal, and it's base, but it works – fear works."

Ms Litvinenko replied by suggesting that the violence shows how weak Putin's leadership is: "Everybody can see how this government is weak, how they're lying every time when they try to pretend Navalny is nobody."

The Death of a Dissident author wondered "why do they need to bring so many special forces on the streets of Moscow, of St Petersburg and other cities to prevent all these demonstrations if they're not afraid of Navalny?"

Marina Litvinenko argued that the violence on display in Russia shows the weakness of Putin's government
Marina Litvinenko argued that the violence on display in Russia shows the weakness of Putin's government. Picture: Video Screengrab

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Ms Litvinenko suggested that in recent years, Vladimir Putin's star has dwindled in the eyes of the Russian public.

"Putin, who was almost [called the person] who united Russia, unfortunately not. He divided this country and he might bring this country to civil war."

"Everything that happened on the streets of Moscow and other cities of Russia is because of this government.

"It's because they're afraid, and they showed their weakness."