Demonstrations have been taking place in Russia after Alexei Navalny, President Putin’s most high-profile critic, was arrested on his return to Russia a week ago. In the summer last year, Navalny was poisoned. Catherine and Neil have the vocabulary you need to talk about this story.

Video chapters:
0:00​ – Introduction
0:30​ – Story
1:58​ – Headline 1: Alexander Navalny’s political gifts could spell the beginning of the end for Vladimir Putin
4:35​ – Headline 2: Russia Navalny protests: Kremlin hits out at West as it downplays rallies
8:19​ – Headline 3: Echoes of Belarus in Russia’s Navalny protests
11:11​ – Language summary

Key words and phrases

spell the end
indicate a major change is going to happen
*Electric cars spell the end for the petrol engine.
*Everyone is hoping the vaccine will spell the end for the pandemic.

makes something seem less important than it is
*It’s important not to downplay the threat of coronavirus.
*The minister downplayed her role in the corruption scandal.

reminders of past events
*There are echoes of 80s pop in lots of new music.
*Some say the attack on the Capitol had echoes of 1930s Germany.

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