Inside Story

Will the death of Alexey Navalny change Russian politics?

World leaders blame Russian President Vladimir Putin for the death of his most outspoken critic.

Alexey Navalny was respected worldwide and – despite being locked up for years in a prison cell – was Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most vocal critic.

That voice of dissent was silenced as Russia announced his death on Friday at the age of 47.

World leaders have been quick to blame Putin for getting rid of yet another Russian who dared to challenge him. The Kremlin is describing that reaction as “unacceptable” and “rabid”.

Russians will get to choose whether Putin is re-elected for a fifth term next month. The vote is already widely viewed as a foregone conclusion, given the lack of opposition voices allowed to oppose his long rule.

So, who might ever replace him? What does the lack of free-speech mean for future opposition voices in Russia? And how will Russians remember Alexey Navalny?

Presenter: Adrian Finighan


Vladimir Sotnikov – Associate professor of international relations, Higher School of Economics University

Samuel Ramani – Associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, a defence and security think tank

Peter Nikitin – Russian pro-democracy activist and lawyer