Russia Protests Go Beyond Navalny as Putin’s Reserve of Good Will Wanes
ORYOL, Russia—Around 200 miles southwest of Moscow, Oryol is a world away from the bright lights and prosperity of Russia’s capital city. To understand the tens of thousands of demonstrators who turned out across the nation to protest the detention of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, look here.
Industry in Oryol never fully recovered from Russia’s post-Soviet collapse. Once-proud factories sit abandoned. Parts of the city lack indoor toilets and running water. With few job prospects, many young people feel they have no choice but to leave.
The treatment of Mr. Navalny may have lit the fuse for protests, but the rallies quickly became an outlet for Russians’ widespread grievances about falling living standards, collapsing infrastructure and chronic…