The 36-year-old corruption-fighting lawyer and popular blogger has played a key role in mobilizing Russia’s young Internet generation to rally against Vladimir Putin’s rule. Charismatic and ambitious, Navalny spearheaded a series of rallies in Moscow during the winter that brought up to 100,000 people into the streets in the run-up to the March vote in which Putin won a third presidential term. He reaches tens of thousands through his blog and has more than 250,000 followers on Twitter.
Navalny has tapped into people’s anger over the corruption that pervades public life. After he described Putin’s political party as the "party of crooks and thieves," the catch phrase stuck.