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A Tortoise File

The Trials of Alexei Navalny

What does the story of Alexei Navalny tell us about Vladimir Putin’s Russia and the state of opposition in the country?

The trials of Alexei Navalny

First published
Monday 28 March 2022

Last updated
Sunday 27 March 2022

Why this story?

Alexei Navalny has been a thorn in the side of Vladimir Putin for more than ten years. His anti-corruption foundation has exposed dozens of high-ranking Russian officials. He has repeatedly tried to stand for public office never stinting in his criticism and sometimes mocking of the Russian president. In 2020 he was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent and was evacuated to a hospital in Berlin. He made an extraordinary recovery and in early 2021 he and his wife, Yulia Navalnaya, flew back to Moscow. On arrival they were separated and Alexei was detained. He has been in prison ever since.

Amid the unfolding human horror in Ukraine, we found ourselves wondering what had happened to the organised opposition in Russia. Does Alexei Navalny still have any influence? With her husband in jail, does Yulia Navalnaya have a role? And what does their story of defiance tell us about Putin’s Russia? Jasper Corbett, Editor

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