Alexei Navalny is an anti-corruption activist, a lead Russian opposition politician, and an outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin, who came to prominence through his popular blog and YouTube show in which he published videos and documents on the alleged corruption of Russian oligarchs and businessmen. On the 20th August 2020 Navalny was taken to hospital after falling into a coma on an internal Russian flight, days later he was taken to Berlin to receive medical treatment as his illness was found to be a politically motivated poisoning by a Novichok nerve agent. Upon Navalny’s return to Russia he was arrested for violating a suspended sentence, something he has claimed is politically motivated.
However Navalny seems to be somewhat of a divisive figure, describing himself as a democratic nationalist, Navalny has founded nationalist political groups that were aligned with other more nefarious ultra-nationalist groups. He has also marched in anti-immigration marches from 2006 and has organised a march himself in 2011, as well as releasing various anti-immigration videos. Seemingly in light of this Amnesty International somewhat controversially withdrew his status as a prisoner of consciousness in February 2021.
So, who is Alexei Navalny?
Is he a genuine opposition figure?
Is he a genuine force for good in Russia, or an opportunist or dangerous nationalist?