Paris - He is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most determined and outspoken opponent. He was nearly poisoned to death in August 2020 in Siberia and is now in a high-security prison.
Is there any real opposition left in Russia? What do we know about the poisoning? And who is the real Alexei Navalny – a social media star, a hero to some, a racist nationalist to others and an agent of the West, according to Russian authorities?
The answers are to be found in this five-part series produced by AFP journalists in Moscow and Paris, based on exclusive first-hand accounts and interviews.
Episode 1: The Crackdown
Alexei Navalny’s new home is around 100 kilometres from Moscow, at the end of a muddy path, on the outskirts of the small town of Pokrov. A year after his poisoning, the main opponent to Vladimir Putin lives in a high-security prison. His anti-corruption foundation is banned. Many of his allies are in exile, independent media are closing down and a ‘climate of fear’ reigns among his supporters.