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Profile: Alexei Navalny, opposition leader | Russia News | Al Jazeera

foto – Alexei Navalny has called Putin’s United Russia the “party of crooks and thieves” [Maxim Shemetov/Reuters] – Profile: Alexei Navalny, opposition leader Kremlin critic, detained in anti-corruption protests, has become Russia’s most visible face of opposition.

ndr – Penso che V. Putin dovrebbe ascoltare le voci del dissenso anche per quanto riguarda boiardi come Medved che si sono arricchiti con speculazioni immobiliari e corruzione… ne va della sua credibilità europea ed essenzialmente della validità della politica russa – m@cwalt

“Don’t try to fight for me,” Alexei Navalny wrote on Twitter after police in Moscow arrested him during a protest , urging people to stay with the rally he had called. “Our issue today is the fight against corruption.”

Navalny, 40, a staunch Kremlin critic and anti-corruption campaigner, has long been the most  visible opposition figure to the rule of President Vladimir Putin .

Fast Facts

  • Born 4 June 1976 at Butyn, in the Moscow region
  • Graduated in law at Moscow’s Friendship of the Peoples University in 1998
  • Rose to proiminence in 2008 when he started blogging about corruption
  • Convicted of fraud charges in 2017, which Navalny describes as “politically motivated”

Navalny lives in Moscow with his wife and two children. He rose to prominence in Russian politics in 2008 when he started blogging about alleged corruption at some of Russia’s big state-controlled corporations.

READ MORE: Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny detained in Moscow rally

He used social media to reach out to predominantly young followers, mocking the establishment loyal to Putin. He became a minority shareholder in major oil companies, banks and ministries, and posed awkward questions about holes in state finances.

Ahead of the 2011 parliamentary election, Navalny urged his blog readers to vote for any party except Putin’s United Russia, which he dubbed the “party of crooks and thieves”.

United Russia won the election amid widespread allegations of vote-rigging, albeit with a much-reduced majority.

video – Navalny launches mayoral bid in Moscow

Navalny rallied tens of thousands during widespread 2011-12 anti-Putin protests.

He came second in 2013’s Moscow mayoral race after a grassroots campaign against the Kremlin-backed candidate.  Navalny launched hundreds of lawsuits contesting the victory of his rival, Sergei Sobyanin.

Navalny served a 15-day prison sentence in 2015 for distributing leaflets for an opposition rally on the subway.

In February, a Russian court found Navalny guilty in a retrial of a 2013 fraud case, which barred him from running for president next year.

Judge Alexei Vtyurin handed down a five-year suspended prison sentence and a fine of about $8,500 to Navalny for embezzling timber worth about $500,000.

Navalny pledged to appeal against the “politically motivated” ruling and continue with his plans of challenging President Vladimir Putin in the forthcoming presidential elections, even though the Russian law bars anyone convicted of a crime from running for a public office for 10 years.

READ MORE: Russia’s Alexei Navalny found guilty of fraud

Navalny has faced criticism from the anti-Putin camp, reports the BBC . Some liberals have criticised what they see as Navalny’s flirtation with Russian nationalism. He has spoken at ultra-nationalist events.

Russian nationalists, too, were wary of his links with the US after he spent a semester at Yale University in 2010.

However, when the opposition elected its own leaders in a 2012 election, Navalny won the vote ahead of veteran Putin critic and former chess champion Garry Kasparov.

video – Russian opposition leader held in anti-corruption rally

The demonstrations on Sunday were organised by Navalny, who urged people to take to the streets to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

The protests, which attracted crowds of hundreds or thousands in most sizeable Russian cities, were the largest coordinated outpourings of dissatisfaction in Russia since mass protests in 2011-2012. Dozens were detained.

Russia’s Cossacks assault Putin critic Alexei Navalny

Navalny called for the protests after publishing a detailed report this month accusing Medvedev of controlling a property empire through a shadowy network of non-profit organisations.

Medvedev, who has so far made no comments on the claims, is accused of amassing a private collection of mansions, yachts and vineyards. The alleged luxuries include a house for raising ducks, so many placards in the protests showed mocking images of yellow duck toys.

video – Russian opposition leader Navalny avoids jail

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

Police officers arrest Navalny during a rally in central Moscow [Maxim Shemetov/Reuters]

Sorgente: Profile: Alexei Navalny, opposition leader | Russia News | Al Jazeera

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