Russia's top opposition politician Alexei Navalny, who died Friday in an Arctic prison according to Russia's penitentiary service, survived a poisoning attack in 2020 only to be sentenced to 19 years in a penal colony.

Here are 10 key dates in his campaign against Russian President Vladimir Putin:

- 2007: anti-corruption campaigner -

Navalny begins buying shares in state-owned oil giants to access company reports and scour them for evidence of corruption, which he documents on his blog.

The same year he is excluded from the liberal opposition party Yabloko for taking part in "nationalist activities".

- December 2011: leads election protests -

Navalny sets up the Anti-Corruption Foundation, which gains a huge following with exposes about the vast riches amassed by Kremlin elites.

In the winter of 2011-2012, he leads huge protests after parliamentary elections won by Putin's United Russia party, a vote marred by allegations of fraud.


- July 2013: embezzlement conviction -

He is convicted of defrauding the government in the Kirov region of 16 million rubles ($500,000) in a timber deal while acting as an advisor to the governor.

He denies the charges, claiming they are an attempt to silence him.

- September 2013: Moscow mayoral bid -

Navalny finishes a strong second behind Kremlin-backed incumbent Sergei Sobyanin in the race for mayor of Moscow.

His calls for a recount are dismissed.

- March 2017: Medvedev 'duck' expose -

Navalny's video about the lavish lifestyle of then prime minister Dmitry Medvedev, which includes a claim that one of his estates has a duck house in the middle of a pond, sparks rallies.

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Patriarch Kirill, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, signed a decree banning priest Dmitry Safronov from giving blessings, carrying a cross or wearing the frock for three years.

- December 2018: barred from presidential election -

He is blocked from running for president against Putin because of his embezzlement conviction.

He urges Russians to boycott the vote, which nonetheless sees Putin secure a fourth term.

- August 2020: poisoning -

Navalny is hospitalised on August 20, 2020, in Siberia and placed in a medically induced coma after losing consciousness during a flight.


He is transferred to a hospital in Berlin, where tests show he was poisoned with Novichok, a Soviet-era nerve agent.

He accuses Putin of being behind his poisoning, which the Kremlin denies.

- January-February 2021: arrested and jailed -

He returns to Moscow, where he is detained shortly after landing at the airport.

Tens of thousands of people demonstrate across Russia for his release.

In February, he is handed a two-and-a-half-year sentence for breaching the conditions of a suspended sentence while recuperating in Germany, and sent to a penal colony.

- August 2023: 19 years -

Navalny's sentence is increased to nine years after a conviction on new charges of embezzlement and contempt of court.

A gaunt Navalny, who has experienced major weight loss in prison, is then sentenced to an additional 19 years at a harsher "special regime" facility on charges of "extremism".

He goes missing for over two weeks in December 2023, before being located in a remote penal colony north of the Arctic Circle.

- February 16, 2024: dies in prison -

Navalny dies at the Arctic prison colony, Russia's federal penitentiary service says in a statement.

It says Navalny lost consciousness after going for a walk and could not be revived by medics.


"The causes of death are being established," it said.

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Comments ( 1)
Joseph Swanson
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

Alexey Navalny was another communist playing pretend to be "russian opposition."
In an interview with Echo of moscow radio station in October 2014, Navalny admitted that the Crimean peninsula had been seized through “outrageous violations of all international norms”, and YET asserted that it would “remain part of russia” and would “never become part of Ukraine in the foreseeable future”.
Under a democratically elected government, “the wonderful russia of the future”, as Navalny liked to call post-putlin russia, would still keep Crimea despite the fact that the annexation was illegal. That is because their policies would have to reflect the will of the russian people and the overwhelming majority of russians wanted Crimea to be within russian borders.

Boris Nadezhdin is no better. He portrays himself as "anti war" but when it comes to Ukraine, he believes russia should be allowed to hold onto the territories currently under russian occupation.

As Volodymyr Vynnychenko, one of the central figures of the Ukrainian national liberation movement in 1917-1919, insightfully noted a century ago, “Russian democracy ends where the Ukrainian question begins”.

This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

@Joseph Swanson, Very interesting. Thanks for sharing this background. I wonder if this apparent ubiquitous Russian mindset is from years of Soviet brainwashing, or it is inherently mostly a culture of aspiring thieves and law breakers.

Still I will hope that the murder of Navalny now causes dissent and riots in russia.

Russia's current leadership has certainly earned a mob riot ending with their demise.