In the courtroom, Yulia Navalnaya, expressionless and wearing a red sweatshirt, watched her husband, Alexei Navalny, enter “the aquarium”—a glass cage. Just as the sentencing hearing began, Navalny raised his voice and said to his wife, “On the TV they said you’ve been violating public order. You’re a bad girl. I’m proud of you.”

To think that the briskly organized trial of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny would have any outcome but a harsh prison sentence would be absurdly naïve. The government was already infuriated that Navalny had dared to return to Moscow after surviving an assassination attempt; his devastating video exposé of Putin’s plutocratic lifestyle stripped away any pretense or pantomime of due process.