June 16, 2017
Though his efforts continue to be thwarted at every turn, Vladimir Putin’s most prominent opponent isn’t giving up.
Earlier this week, Russia was hit by the one of the biggest waves of anti-government protests it had seen in half a decade, with events attended by thousands of demonstrators in over 100 cities across the country. Police arrested an estimated 1,000 protesters in Moscow and St. Petersburg alone. Among them was the chief architect of the demonstrations: the activist, opposition leader, and presidential hopeful Alexei Navalny.
At this point, Navalny, the charismatic lawyer-turned-activist politician is no stranger to Russia’s corrupt criminal-justice system. Since he first came into the public eye around seven years ago and began using publicly available information to expose the theft and fraud so common among Russia’s ruling class, it has been easy to lose count of how many times he’s been detained, arrested, or prosecuted on trumped up charges. Following his most recent arrest this past Monday, a court sentenced him to 30 days in prison for organizing an unauthorized protest. (In Russia, all protests must be state-approved and take place in state-designated areas.) He seemed unfazed by the conviction, playfully complaining that his sentence meant he’d miss an upcoming Depeche Mode concert.