Meet Putin’s biggest threat.
WHO IS ALEXEI NAVALNY?
Born 4 June 1976, Alexei Navalny is a Russian opposition leader, a lawyer and an anti-corruption activist who hails from Butyn which is a rural locality in the Odintsovsky District.
He has in the past lead several anti-government demonstrations and run for office to amplifier the need for reforms against corruption in the Russian government, and against Vladimir Putin.
Being a leading member of the Russia of the Future party and founder of Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) Navalny first gained visibility in 2008, when he started blogging about alleged corruption within Russian state-run companies.
“The only thing that necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.” He says, echoing the famous phrase, in the new CNN film “Navalny”.
With a very huge subscribers of about six million plus on his YouTube page and over one billion views, Navalny has published exclusives about corruption in Russia with lots of political demonstrations and campaign promotions. A radio interview in 2011 where he described the Russia’s ruling party, United Russia as a “party of crooks and thieves” became a popular phrase.
Navalny’s ambition of contesting in the 2018 presidential election was cut short after the Central Election Commission (CEC) stripped him of the opportunity due to his prior criminal embezzlement conviction; the Russian Supreme Court subsequently rejected his appeal.
August 2020 saw Navalny being medically evacuated to Berlin and hospitalized for about five months after being poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent and discharged afterwards. Navalny accused Putin of being behind his poisoning, the EU, UK and US sanctioned the senior Russian officials after a joint investigation by CNN and the group Bellingcat implicated agents from the Federal Security Services (FSB). Navalny’s return to the Russian capital in January 2021 followed with an immediate detention on accusations of violating parole conditions while in Germany which were imposed as a result of his 2014 conviction.
While in prison, Navalny and human rights group have accused Russian authorities of torturing him. He has been recognized by the Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience and awarded the Sakharov Prize for his work on human rights while in prison. In march 2022, Navalny was found guilty of embezzlement and contempt of court in a new trial and sentenced to an additional nine years in prison.