Alexey Navalny

Leader of the Russian democratic opposition

Alexey Navalny (1976 – 2024) was the leader of the Russian democratic opposition and the founder of the Anti-Corruption Foundation. He became known for his anti-corruption investigations of state companies and senior government officials. In 2013, he secured second place in Moscow’s mayoral election. In 2018, he campaigned but wasn’t allowed to appear on the ballot for the Russian presidential election. In August 2020, Navalny was poisoned with Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent, under orders from Russian officials. He spent a month in a coma but survived. In January 2021, after a period of rehabilitation in Germany, he returned to Russia, where he was arrested and imprisoned on the grounds of a fabricated criminal case — a verdict the European Court of Human Rights has declared a violation of international law. Navalny faced continuous trials on baseless charges and, in August, was sentenced to 19 years for “extremism.” In 2021, Maria Pevchikh, the chief of staff of the Anti-Corruption Foundation and a close associate of Navalny read his letter from prison at the Oslo Freedom Forum. On 16 February 2024, Alexei Navalny was murdered by Putin’s regime while serving a 19-year sentence in the frigid isolation of colony FKU IK-3, deep within the Russian Arctic. Navalny’s death ignited a wave of protests and mourning in Russia and across the globe. In Russia, hundreds of those who dared to remember him publicly were met with detention and arrest.

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