Navalny has released a video in which he has the gall to complain some more about the “Novichok” accelerated weight loss program and multiple rounds of beauty treatments that PUTLER! provided him with for absolutely free.
Novichok continues working wonders as looksmaxing supplement. pic.twitter.com/6VjmTqKegS
— 🇷🇺 ANATꙮLY 🤔 KARLIN (@akarlin88) September 23, 2020
But I just realized something rather more interesting and politically relevant.
He has 4.3M subscribers on his YouTube.
Dmitry “Goblin” Puchkov, a Stalinist videoblogger most famous for his slogan “the anti-Soviet is a Russophobe”, has 2.1M subscribers. Remove his Ukrainian followers, and Navalny has as many actually Russian followers as some boomer sovok.
He has been “widely known” in Russia since 2013, which is when he reached 50% name recognition. But this hasn’t translated into demonstrable electoral appeal, which has indeed been waning ever since.
This fall off in Navalny’s “brand” is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that when Navalny was arrested back around 2018, it resulted in protests with ~10,000 participants.
But when he reported in his first treatment this September, Putin’s approval rating didn’t even budge.
Now that he is reporting in his second and third treatments, it is instead a Polish video game harkening back to 1980s American pop culture that dominates discussions on Runet social media.
Whether or not it was specifically the gay FSB tourists observing the historical sights of Tomsk who administered this beauty treatment is besides the point, at least so far as internal Russian politics are concerned.
The more germane observation, which I already made soon after the first treatment, is that Navalny is no longer politically relevant outside YouTube and the West. He’d have better prospects as a fitness and cosmetics videoblogger.