Alexei Navalny: The Latest Man to fall in Putin’s political witchunt

Alexei Navalny: The Latest Man to fall in Putins political witchunt

Alexei Navalny was a brave man. A former lawyer for many Russian Companies, Navalny would become a political giant in the battle for supremacy against Vladimir Putin during the 21st Century. Unfortunately for Navalny though, he could not escape the fate of many of Putin’s political foes in his 20+ years as president. Nalavny died due to a “fall” at a corrective colony in rural Arctic Russia, marking an end to his long-winded fight against political corruption in the country. His time as a combatant against the Kremlin is important to recognize, even though he was unable to succeed in bringing down the government of his homeland. This article will be focused on understanding and remembering his legacy. 

Alexei Navalny was born in 1976 as a combination of Ukrainian and Russian blood, representing a union between two different nations who are so tied together yet so against one another in today’s age. The young man was well-versed in Ukrainian, spending many summers with his grandmother in her homeland. His parents owned a basket weaving factory, making enough money to give Alexei the ability to be educated. Navalny would receive his first degree from the People’s Friendship University in Moscow, developing an aptitude for law and finance. Yet his desire for political involvement would not occur until two years later when he would be listed as a party member for the first time. 

Yabloko, or the Russian United Democratic Party was not a favorite of Nalavny’s, but he believed that it was important to combat upcoming corruption within the new Russian government. Yabloko is known as the last leading liberal opposition party in the 1990s and 2000s, making efforts to stop any return back to the authoritarian system that had been in place during the time of the Soviet Union. Nalavny rose through the ranks of the party quickly, first becoming a regional council member of Moscow for the party, then eventually gaining traction as the Deputy Chief in 2007. His growing popularity was not appreciated by the Kremlin however, as his efforts to set up debates on state-run TV were stifled and smothered by censorship. Ultimately, Navalny’s relationship with the party ended bitterly because he supported the former leader of the Yabloko party Grigory Yavlinsky. Yavlinsky had failed to win the presidency before, and any support for him in 2007 seemed like a death threat to the party’s success. 

After leaving Yabloko, Navalny began to shift his focus to exposing corruption within some of Russia’s oil and gas companies. One company in particular would end up feeling the discomfort of Navalny’s investigations. Transneft is the largest oil pipeline company in the world and is controlled by the Russian state.  According to Nalavny, the company stole an estimated 4 billion of state funds in construction from 2007-2009. His work caused an outcry within Russian society at the blatant disregard for public funds. 

Unfortunately for his Kremlin adversaries, his work against political corruption did not stop. After graduating from Yale Law School in 2010, Alexei investigated widespread corruption within the 2011 Parliamentary Elections. On his popular blog, Nalavny called the Putin-backed party United Russia a group of “crooks and thieves” before organizing a widespread protest in the heart of Moscow. From this point on, Navalny’s priority was unifying Russians in dissent against Vladimir Putin and the ruling regime. 

Throughout the 2010s, Nalavny would end up being arrested 10 times and searched much more. House arrests, bogus charges, and systemic silencing of his freedom of speech marked a deeper dive into authoritarian wrath across Russia. However, his ultimate demise would come in 2021 on his return to Russia from Germany. Navalny had been recovering in Germany from a poisoning attempt that was alleged to be ordered by the Kremlin themselves. Unfortunately for the lawyer, the Russian authorities seized him at the airport. He subsequently was given 19 years to life in a Russian work camp. His end would come 2 years later in the camp, dying under “mysterious circumstances”

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About the Contributor
Ciaran Greer
Ciaran Greer, Editor in Chief
Runner, Singer, Writer, and believer in God.  A strong belief in supporting the working class and the Average American.