Alexei Navalny is a name you might not have heard of before the beginning of the year, but since being poisoned by the Russian government last year in the Autumn, Navalny’s name has been slowly growing in the global politics discourse.
Navalny is, of course, Vladimir Putin’s greatest enemy currently. A challenger to Putin’s single power state he is seeking to disrupt the over sixteen year long grip Putin has had on Russia’s political scene. The dictator, known for his long shirtless bareback horse rides, is believed to be the political power behind the assisination attempt on Navalny in Berlin, Germany last year.
Since then, Navalny has been accused of missing court dates in Russia (despite being in a coma at the time) and returned to Russia from Germany only to be detained upon arrival. Previously a lawyer, Navalny’s troubles as the opposition to Putin’s dictatorship started roughly ten years ago when he began his mission to expose corruption and misdeeds in Russian politics.
Navalny has continued to mobilise the public through his online public content of professional looking videos seeking to create real world change through political protest on Russia’s streets. As an anti-corruption campaigner Navalny has encouraged thousands of protestors onto the streets throughout the years, with a recent rally proving no expectation with over 4,000 attendees.
It has been the first time many have been able to express their frustration at Putin’s stifling regime, though with hundreds of people arrested by the police the backlash has been harsh. The troubles faced by the 44 year old however have seen people happy to rally behind him and made him a key figure in leading the protests as the rest of the world looks on from afar.
Returning to Russia on January 17th 2020 saw Navalny detained at the airport and remaining in custody until his February trial. As of February 20th 2020 unfortunately however, reports are that Navalny has lost his appeal and may be transferred to a prison camp within several days.