The Longer Read

Alexei Navalny – the man who knew too much

For a decade and more, he and his team deployed a mix of tenacity and mockery to probe the Mafia-style financial links between those at the top of Russian politics, security and business, writes John Kampfner. Frozen out of state-controlled mainstream media, Navalny used every digital platform and every social media channel available to shine a light on Putin’s corrupt regime, surviving multiple poisonings and incarceration until he was finally – and inevitably – silenced by his greatest foe...

Monday 19 February 2024 14:40 GMT
Navalny was among the most brazen of Kremlin critics
Navalny was among the most brazen of Kremlin critics (Getty)

The reason why it all happened is one man’s hatred and fear – one man hiding in a bunker. I mortally offended him by surviving an attempt at my life he ordered. And then I committed an even more serious offence: I didn’t go into hiding. And that’s driving this thieving little man in his bunker out of his mind.”

So declared the accused from behind his courtroom cage as he prepared to be sentenced to jail. His crime was to have challenged the man in the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin, with the one tool remaining, the power of speech.

That act of defiance exactly three years ago, was the beginning of the end of the life of Alexei Navalny.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in