Alexei Navalny protest
Source: Getty

Protestors in January 2021 in Berlin, Germany calling for the release of Alexei Navalny

Alexei Navalny: Russian Dissident Faces 9 Years in Maximum Security Prison

By

Apr. 25 2022, Published 1:22 p.m. ET

As the Russian war with Ukraine continues two months after the initial invasion in February, things are heating up in regards to anyone who stands against Russian President Vladimir Putin. Alexei Navalny is a leader of a Russian opposition group that has been convicted on fraud charges. He was sentenced to nine years in prison. Where is Navalny now?

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CNN has released a new documentary film Navalny that shows how the Putin enemy returned to Russia despite the almost certain chance of either imprisonment or death. The program premiered on April 24 on CNN.

Navalny film
Source: CNN FB

CNN produced a film based on Navalny's protests of Russian corruption.

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Alexei Navalny has publicly denounced Putin since 2008.

As CNN reports, in 2008 Navalny began posting critical content online about Putin and alleged corruption among Russian state-run companies. Like hedge fund manager Bill Browder, Navalny brought much of the corrupt business dealings of the Russian government to light.

Navalny posted public content criticizing the Kremlin and Putin. He was preparing to run for mayor of Moscow in 2013. However, Navalny was convicted of embezzlement before his campaign could take off, and a subsequent retrial in 2017 banned him from running for any public office just as he intended to run against Putin for president.

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Navalny posted YouTube videos about Russian corruption.

Some of Navalny’s most popular videos shared information about how the wealthiest in Russia secured their wealth. For example, a video on former Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev got over 35 million views, CNN noted.

The video helped catalyze protests across Russia in March 2017. Navalny was arrested and spent 15 days in jail. In the CNN movie, he said to supporters, “If they decide to kill me, it means that we are incredibly strong.”

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In 2020, Navalny was poisoned with a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group. CNN and Bellingcat think that the Russian Security Service is responsible for poisoning Navalny.

alexei navalny now
Source: Alexey Navalny Twitter
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Navalny returned to Russia after recovering from the poison attack.

After spending five months in a German hospital recovering from the poisoning, Navalny returned to Moscow but was immediately arrested on violation charges dating back to 2014. He has spent time at a penal colony in Pokrov. He chose to go on a hunger strike to protest the lack of proper medical care there.

In March, Navalny was convicted on charges that he had stolen from his own anti-corruption group. The sentence will place him in a maximum-security prison for nine years. Other criminal cases are likely to follow, which could increase his jail time.

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It isn't clear exactly where Navalny is being held currently. After his latest sentencing, he's expected to be moved from the penal colony to a maximum security facility. CBS News reported in March that his supporters worry it will be harder to check on him and his condition in the higher-security prison.

Spokesperson Kira Yarmysh said, “Without public protection, Alexey will be face-to-face with those who have already tried to kill him, and nothing will stop them from trying again.”

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The U.S. State Department has denounced the proceedings as a “politically-motivated conviction and sentencing.”

Source: Alexey Navalny Twitter

A tweet from Navalny today about Canadian sanction decisions.

Navalny’s organization, the Foundation for Fighting Corruption, is now outlawed as an extremist group and most of his allies have fled the country to avoid court cases. Navalny continues to post to Twitter from wherever he is.

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