Navalny has been moved to the Matrosskaya Tishina jail where lawyer Sergei Magnitsky was killed in 2009 for exposing official corruption. If his name sounds familiar, it’s from the “Magnitsky Sanctions” that have become a potent weapon for targeting individuals who violate human rights. Thanks to the global campaign of Bill Browder, Magnitsky’s employer, these targeted sanctions are becoming a widespread way to deter and punish the agents and allies of some of the world’s worst regimes.

Now those sanctions may help save the life of another anti-corruption crusader, but only if they are used promptly and aggressively. The Biden administration has distinguished itself from the Trump administration with strong language to Russia about respecting the rights of Navalny and the protesters, but Putin is a mafia boss, not a typical national leader. He looks at these statements by Western governments for just two things: his own name and who is talking. If it doesn’t name him personally, he knows he can ignore it. If it’s not from the head of state, he knows it’s not serious…

The answer is the same it has always been: Follow the money. When Putin wakes up, he doesn’t check the international news or the diplomatic cables. He looks at his offshore bank accounts, and those of the oligarchs who could rise against him should he finally prove too toxic to their profits.