Alexei Anatolievich Navalny (Russian: Алексе́й Анато́льевич Нава́льный, Russian pronunciation: [ɐlʲɪkˈsʲej ɐnɐˈtolʲjɪvʲɪtɕ nɐˈvalʲnɨj]; born June 4, 1976) is a Russian lawyer and political activist. A regular participant in Russian March, since 2009, he has gained prominence in Russia, and in the Russian and international media, as a critic of corruption and of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He has organized demonstrations promoting reform and attacking political corruption, Putin and Putin’s political allies; he has run for a political office on the same platform. In 2012, The Wall Street Journal described him as “the man Vladimir Putin fears most”.A self-described nationalist democrat, Navalny is a Russian Opposition Coordination Council member and the leader of the political party Progress Party. In September 2013, he ran in the Moscow mayoral election, supported by the RPR-PARNAS party. He came in second, with 27% of the vote, losing to incumbent mayor Sergei Sobyanin, a Putin appointee. Navalny and his allies insisted that the actual number was still higher and that authorities had committed election fraud in order to prevent a runoff election from taking place.Navalny came to prominence via his blog hosted by LiveJournal, but later switched to YouTube where he has 2 million subscribers and Twitter where he has more than 2 million followers. He has used his blog, YouTube and Twitter channels to publish videos and documents about corruption by Russian state officials, to organize political demonstrations, and to promote his campaigns for office. He has also been active in other media: most notably, in a 2011 radio interview he described Russia’s ruling party, United Russia, as a “party of crooks and thieves”, which soon became a popular epithet. He created the Anti-Corruption Foundation in 2011.
Navalny has been arrested many times by Russian authorities. He received two suspended sentences for alleged embezzlement in two separate cases, one in July 2013, and another in December 2014, for five-year and 3.5-year terms of imprisonment, respectively. Both cases are considered to be fabrications in retaliation for his political activity and violated Navalny’s right to a fair trial, according to rulings by the European Court of Human Rights. The Memorial Human Rights Center considered Navalny as a political prisoner. In February 2014, Navalny was placed under house arrest and restricted from communicating with anyone but his family.In March 2017, Alexei Navalny and his Anti-Corruption Foundation created a documentary He Is Not Dimon to You, accusing Dmitry Medvedev, the prime minister and former president of Russia, of corruption.In December 2016, Navalny started his campaign to run for President of Russia during the 2018 election, but was barred by Russia’s Central Electoral Commission in December 2017 and the Supreme Court of Russia rejected his appeal and upheld the ban. He and his supporters have been arrested and become victims of attacks on numerous occasions during the campaign. In May 2018, he was sentenced to 30 days in prison after being arrested for attending an unsanctioned protest against Putin in Moscow; he condemned the verdict.