Who is the other Russian dissident besides the late Alexei Navalny?


The most ardent opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin has died suddenly. an open wound In political opposition to Russia.

Alexey NavalnyThe 47-year-old was the Kremlin’s best-known critic at home and abroad. before he died in a penal colony On Friday, the anti-corruption crusader, protest organizer and politician with a keen sense of humor became the subject of an award-winning documentary. His channel had millions of subscribers on YouTube.

Navalny was also the first Russian opposition leader in recent years to receive a lengthy prison sentence. There will be others who will initiate a harsh crackdown on dissent, which became more punitive with the invasion of Ukraine. In the three years since Navalny lost his freedom, several prominent dissidents have been jailed, while others have fled Russia under pressure.

many of them Yet others persisted in challenging Putin — organizing events abroad, pushing for sanctions on Russia, supporting like-minded Russians in exile or continuing to speak out from behind bars.

These are some of the key remaining figures:

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Colleagues at the Anti-Corruption Foundation, which Navalny founded in 2011 to expose political corruption, and his other close associates often had to work without him. Navalny was jailed even before going to jail in January 2021 under regular arrest And had to spend a long time in jail. In 2020, he was poisoned with a nerve agent, spent 18 days in a coma and recovered for weeks in Germany. His prison term included more than 300 days of isolation, in which communication was possible but difficult. a punishment chamber,

His closest associates are top strategists leonid volkovHead of Investigation Maria Pevchikh, Foundation Director Ivan Zhdanov And Spokesperson Kira Yarmish – Faced constant pressure and prosecution in Russia too. In recent years, all have left the country and worked from abroad, providing political commentary and exposing political corruption on the foundation’s signed YouTube.

They continued to push for Navalny’s release from prison, organizing protests and demonstrations campaign to weaken Putin is almost certain to win because of his image in Russia ahead of next month’s presidential election.

“Alexey was amazing,” Volkov wrote on Twitter, formerly of X, on Sunday. “He was a natural politician, very talented, very efficient. And from himself and from everyone around him, he demanded one thing: do not give up, do not give up, do not despair. …This is what he wants from us now. His life’s work must prevail.”

Mikhail KhodorkovskyThe 60-year-old former tycoon has become a Russian opposition figure in exile. Khodorkovsky spent a decade in prison in Russia in the early 2000s on charges seen as political retaliation for challenging Putin’s rule. He was released in 2013, shortly before Russia hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. Putin’s surprise apology on the eve of the Olympics was seen as an effort by the Kremlin to improve Russia’s image in the West.

Khodorkovsky was evacuated to Germany and later settled in London. From exile, he launched an opposition group called Open Russia, which ran its own news outletSupported candidates in various elections, Legal aid provided and was an educational forum for defendants facing politically motivated prosecution.

Open Russia and its activists faced constant pressure from the country’s authorities; Some were prosecuted in Russia, and one of its leaders, Andrei Pivovarov, is currently serving a four-year prison sentence.

The group eventually closed, but Khodorkovsky continued his vocal criticism Of Kremlin. Following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine two years ago this week, he and other prominent critics of Putin, including chess legend Garry Kasparov and former lawmaker Dmitry Gudkov, formed the Antiwar Committee, a broad opposition coalition that opposes the invasion. Opposes and wants to weaken Putin. ,

Kara-Murza was an ally of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, another staunch critic of Putin. assassinated near the Kremlin In 2015. A few years before that, Kara-Murza and Nemtsov had lobbied for passage of the Magnitsky Act in the US. The law was a response to the death in prison of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who had exposed a tax fraud scheme. It authorized Washington to impose sanctions on Russians deemed human rights violators.

Kara-Murza survived as he believes an attempt was made to poison him in 2015 and 2017 but continued to return to Russia despite concerns that it might be unsafe for him to do so. Since his arrest in April 2022, he has continued to speak out against Putin and the war in Ukraine in several opinion columns and letters written from behind bars. His wife, Yevgenia, has also actively campaigned for his and other jailed Kremlin critics’ freedom.

Ilya Yashin, 40, refused to leave Russia despite unprecedented pressure applied by authorities to suppress dissent. He said that moving out of the country would reduce his value as a politician.

The harsh sentence did not quell his sharp criticism of the Kremlin. Yashin’s associates regularly update his social media pages with messages sent from jail. He has more than 1.5 million subscribers on his YouTube channel. In a prison interview Yashin spoke with the Associated Press in September 2022, urging ordinary Russians to help spread the word.

“A demand for an alternative approach has emerged in society,” Yashin told the AP in a written response from behind bars.

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