It’s a name that receives next to no media attention on televised news programs or breaking news, yet Alexei Navalny is a prominent activist who dares to defy Vladimir Putin. He is the leader of the political Progress Party and has long been one of the biggest critics of the Russian president. Many of his fellow citizens are amazed that the government hasn’t done more to silence him and he remains steadfast in his fierce opposition to the fascist government's corruption. Navalny also attempted to run for office in the 2018 election but was barred by the electoral office for a fraud conviction which some are calling retribution for his political activity.

A message for the people

Alexei Navalny has fought for the democratic rights of his people since he began The People movement in 2007. A self-described nationalist democrat, Navalny joined forces with other causes to form the Russian National Movement. But besides running for elections, setting up an anti-corruption foundation, and organizing political rallies, just what is his message?

According to the BBC, Navalny criticised the president and the government for "sucking the blood out of Russia’ and likened its rulership to that of a feudal state." Following his 2013 imprisonment, he promised the court that he aimed to "to destroy the feudal state that's being built in Russia, destroy the system of government where 83 percent of national wealth is owned by percenter cent of the population.''

He was arrested three times last year for "unauthorized" anti-Putin demonstrations, something his supporters have decried as political suppression and government strong-arming tactics.

Putin’s Russia a sign of things to come?

Four years on from the invasion of Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea, Vladimir Putin now celebrates his recent election win. He has now served for 20 years and has won the power to rule for the next six years. His millions of supporters and Chinese backers have lauded his success.

Yet how could Putin have won a landslide victory when his political opponent has been lambasting him and his cabinet for the past decade?

SBS News reported in March that he has no political successor or opposition. However, Alexei Navalny is one of the most crucial figures in Russia’s contemporary political history. The claim by the paper is startling via its failure to acknowledge his progressive efforts, effectively censoring his cause and its relevance. But some journalists and social commentators are thinking forward to 2024, wondering if he will continue to consolidate his power regardless of the Russian law that forbids him to remain in office.

His recent public address, detailing Russia's military might and technological superiority, appears to signify that he's heading in that direction. Additionally, when asked about his plans after presidency last year, he stated: “I haven’t decided yet if I will leave the presidency.” Is he set to rule for life like Chinese president, Xi Jinping?

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