Who is Alexei Navalny? A conversation with Ben Noble about the 2021 Sakharov Prize winner

STAIR (St Antony’s International Review) is excited to talk to Dr. Ben Noble, who will be presenting his new book, Navalny: Putin’s Nemesis, Russia’s Future?, co-authored by Jan Matti Dolbaum and Morvan Lallouet.

‘Who is Alexei Navalny? Poisoned in August 2020 and transported to Germany for treatment, the politician returned to Russia in January 2021 in the full glare of the world media. His immediate detention at passport control set the stage for an explosive showdown with Vladimir Putin.

But Navalny means very different things to different people. To some, he is a democratic hero. To others, he is betraying the Motherland. To others still, he is a dangerous nationalist. This book explores the many dimensions of Navalny’s political life, from his pioneering anti-corruption investigations to his ideas and leadership of a political movement. It also looks at how his activities and the Kremlin’s strategies have shaped one another.

Navalny makes sense of this divisive character, revealing the contradictions of a man who is the second most important political figure in Russia—even when behind bars. In order to understand modern Russia, you need to understand Alexei Navalny.’

Dr. Noble is an Associate Professor in Russian Politics at University College London, a Senior Researcher at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, and an Associate Fellow at Chatham House.