Alexei Navalny

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Updated On January 6, 2022
Butyn, Russia
Birth Sign
Butyn, Russia

Alexei Anatolievich Navalny is a well-known Russian lawyer and political activist who is well-known for his anti-corruption crusade as well as his criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He began his legal profession at the age of twenty-one, joined the Russian United Democratic Party Yabloko at the age of twenty-three, and obtained his economics degree at the age of twenty-four. At the age of thirty-one, he co-founded ‘The People,’ a new political movement. He became an activist shareholder at the age of 32, founding Union of Minority Shareholders the same year and then established other platforms such as RosPil (2010) and RosYama (2011). (2011). At the age of thirty-five, he stepped up his campaign, pushing voters not to vote for the country’s largest political party, ‘United Russia,’ and soon began spearheading protests against rigged elections, which led to his detention and international recognition. He has been indicted in multiple fraud cases since then, leading in long periods of house detention and jail time, as well as a ban from running for President of Russia.

Childhood and Adolescence

Alexei Anatolievich Navalny was born on June 4, 1976, in Butyn, Russia, a small village near Moscow. His father, retired military commander Anatoly Anatolievich Navalny, currently operates a basket-weaving firm in Kobyakovo with his wife Lyudmila Navalnaya.
He has a younger brother named Oleg Navalny, who is the elder of his parents’ two children. They spent their early years travelling from one garrison town to the next, attending numerous schools, due to their father’s military career.
He enrolled in the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia in 1993 and graduated with a law degree in 1998. In the same year, he started his legal career. In 2001, he graduated from the Finance Academy of the Russian Federation’s Government with a degree in economics.

Getting Into Politics

When a law lowering the electoral threshold for State Duma elections was implemented in 2000, Navalny felt it was detrimental to the interests of parties like Yabloko and the Union of Right Forces. Despite his dislike for both, he joined the Russian United Democratic Party Yabloko.
He was identified as a member of the Yabloko party in 2001. He swiftly established himself after that, getting elected to the Moscow Regional Council in 2002 and directing the Moscow section of the election campaign for the December 2003 parliamentary election.
In 2004, he was appointed deputy chief of the Yabloko Moscow chapter and established the Muscovite Protection Committee. The committee, which was made up of more than 100 initiative organizations, fought infill development, avoiding numerous buildings that would have been harmful to local inhabitants.
He was elected to the Social Council of Moscow’s Central Administrative Okrug in 2005.
He co-founded a new political movement named ‘The People’ on June 23, 2007, with the goal of establishing democracy and fighting for ethnic Russian rights. He left his position as deputy chief of the Yabloko party’s Moscow section shortly after that.

Taking on Corruption

Navalny launched the ‘Union of Minority Shareholders’ in 2008 and swiftly established himself as an activist shareholder, investing 300,000 rubles in five oil and gas enterprises. He eventually produced evidence that numerous state enterprises, including as Transneft, were misusing funds. His first public recognition came as a result of this endeavor.
He started his RosPil project in 2010, with the goal of discovering examples of fraud or even unfair competition in the public procurement system. Their legal team quickly began uncovering unethical or corrupt acts, successfully fighting them in court, and successfully getting them overturned.
In 2011, he founded the Anti-Corruption Foundation, which has grown into the world’s largest independent anti-corruption group, effectively probing official corruption and fraud. In the same year, he launched RosYama, a platform that allows private citizens to not only report on road conditions, but also track government responses.

International Notoriety

Alexei Navalny began a massive political campaign in 2011 in which he urged citizens not to vote for ‘United Russia’ in the next parliamentary election. As a result of its widespread popularity, the ruling party resorted to deceptive tactics. Following United Russia’s election victory, large protests erupted around the country, resulting in several arrests. Navalny was detained on December 5, 2011, and was brought before the court, where he was sentenced to fifteen days in prison. It increased his worldwide prominence.
When Vladimir Putin was reelected president in what he called a rigged election in May 2012, he began organizing large protests. On May 8, he was detained again and sentenced to 15 days in prison, prompting Amnesty International to label him a “Prisoner of Conscience.”
He decided to run for mayor of Moscow in 2013, registering as a mayoral candidate on July 17. He was arrested on July 18 and sentenced to five years in prison for allegedly defrauding Russian state firm Kirovles, although he was released on bail soon after.
A concerted effort was launched against him in order to eliminate his chances of winning the 2013 mayoral race. Despite this, he received 27.24 percent of the vote. Soon after, he joined ‘The People Alliance,’ which was renamed Progress Party in 2014.
Navalny and his brother were involved in a new case when he pushed his anti-corruption campaign to a new level in 2014. Navalny was sentenced to three and a half years of home detention, while his brother was sentenced to three and a half years in a prison colony.

Election of a President

Navalny stated on December 13, 2016, that he would run for President of Russia in the 2018 presidential election. Cases against him were quickly reopened after they had been suspended, and the Central Election Commission refused to register him, citing his prior conviction in the Kirovles case.
He was unable to run for office, so he organized protest marches and urged people to boycott the election. He was arrested multiple times before being sentenced to 30 days in prison for organizing illegal demonstrations in May 2018.
Navalny was detained again in July 2019, just before the Moscow municipal Duma election, and sentenced to one month in prison. He was hospitalized on July 28, 2019, while serving his prison sentence, with significant damage to his eyes and skin.
Although the hospital diagnosed it as an allergy and returned him to prison, his personal physician disagreed, believing that the problem was caused by a chemical reaction. Such instances, however, have not deterred Navalny from continuing his anti-corruption crusade.

Major Projects

Alexei Navalny is best known for founding the Anti-Corruption Foundation, a non-profit organization. It was founded in 2011 and is supported entirely by ordinary folks. It investigates and exposes high-ranking politicians’ misconduct.

Achievements & Awards

Navalny joined Yale University’s World Fellows Program in 2010 as a World Fellow. Aside from that, several national and international newspapers have recognized him, including ‘Vedomosti’ and ‘Foreign Policy.’

Personal & Family Life

He married Yulia Navalnaya in 2000, and they have two children: Daria Navalnaya, a girl, and Zahar Navalny, a son. They are currently residing in Moscow.

Estimated Net Worth

Alexei Navalny’s net worth is about $10 million.