Alexei Navalny, who is Putin’s great opponent

Forty-seven years old, wife and two children, Alexei Navalny, great opponent of Vladimir Putin, has a difficult story, which becomes more and more so at each stage. He was born into a family of Ukrainian origins and, as a lawyer by training, he began his political career in 2000 among the ranks of the opposition Yabloko party, of which he soon became one of the best-known faces for his criticism of the leadership of the country, governed by those he defines as “thieves and corrupt”. In 2007 the rift with the party and the birth of his blog in which he recounts episodes of corruption within Russia and directly attacks Putin, who certainly does not allow himself to be attacked. Thanks to a series of video investigations into the affairs and corruption of the President and the main oligarchs, Navalny is making himself known, even abroad, as the greatest exponent of the fight against the Kremlin’s authoritarianism and the icon of liberal and repressed Russia ( UKRAINIAN WAR, THE LIVEBLOG – THE SPECIAL).

Trials and convictions

He was arrested three times in 2017 for organizing demonstrations and protests against Russian corruption and directly against Vladimir Putin. Arrests for which the European Court of Human Rights condemns Russia to compensate him with 50 thousand euros for moral damages, over 1,000 euros for material damages and 12,653 euros for expenses incurred. For the Strasbourg judges, intact, he had been arrested for “suppressing political pluralism”. In 2020, while he was flying from Tomsk to Moscow with his spokesperson, he lost consciousness and entered a coma. He was transported to Berlin for treatment (an operation not not very controversial) it is a spokesperson for the German government who puts forward the hypothesis of poisoning. The analyzes on Navalny had in fact found the presence of Novichok, a nerve agent already used to poison the former spy Sergei Skripal in 2018. After a long convalescence, he chooses to challenge power again. He returns to Russia and is once again arrested and sentenced to two years and eight months in prison.

The war in Ukraine

Meanwhile, Moscow invades Ukraine. Navalny speaks of the war as the most “stupid” and “senseless” conflict of the 21st century and “based on lies”. He calls Putin “a madman who has got his hands on Ukraine.” “And I don’t know what this mad thief wants to do with it,” he declared during a hearing. His words that he has never denied. In August this year he was sentenced to a further 19 years in prison for having “allegedly financed extremist activities, publicly incited extremist activities” and “rehabilitated Nazi ideology”. During his detention, the European Parliament awarded him the Prize Sakharov for freedom of expression. Award withdrawn by his daughter.