Aleksei Navalny deserves the world’s support

Russian lawyer, opposition leader, anti-corruption blogger and activist and Putin nemesis Aleksei Navalny has once again been arrested.

Radio Free Europe has reported that on August 25, in advance of a planned September 9 protest of the Russian government’s plans to raise the pension age, Navalny was arrested and jailed for 30 days. The arrest effectively blocks him from participating in the protest next week.

Navalny has been an outspoken critic of Russian president Vladimir Putin and the corruption among Russia’s ruling elite. He says that his regular arrests are the government’s effort to block the protests and rallies he organizes, and most of all, to block him from running against Putin for the Russian presidency. He was prevented from running in the March 18 elections because of charges widely said to be fabricated.

Why does this matter?

Navalny’s challenges are not being widely reported in the western media. They should be, as he offers the world an important example of the power of a capable and committed popular leader to create public solidarity toward a democratic goal.

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