Russia’s opposition is united against Putin but divided over basically everything else

In a sign of the damaging lack of unity among the Russian opposition, former oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, ex-chess-champion-turned dissident Garry Kasparov and, most important, members of the team of the imprisoned resistance icon Alexei Navalny decided to skip Jablonna.

“Russian elites are often selfish,” said Stefan Meister, the program director at the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin. “They don’t get along with each other. A unifying leader is nowhere to be seen.”

Counting on the opposition would be naive, he said.

“If at all, change will come from within the system, not from the opposition,” he said.

A system that might decide at some point that Putin is no longer the right man. Or maybe not.

Scattered across Riga, Vilnius, Warsaw, Berlin and London, the opposition is obviously divided. But within Russia, it is crippled.

According to Human Rights Watch, the Russian system is more repressive today than at any other time in the post-Soviet era.

Thousands of Putin critics are behind bars. The internet is under strict control of Roskomnadzor, the state watchdog that controls all content.

Foreign organizations are labeled “foreign agents,” if they are not banned outright. The authorities crack down on critics in the media, harass peaceful protesters and engage in smear campaigns against independent groups.

Pressing the wrong “like” button on social media, retweeting a critical commentary or making a negative remark about the military can put a person be