It’s clear that the Russian government doesn’t care for anti-corruption activist and presidential hopeful Alexey Navalny. Earlier this year, Navalny led protests against Vladimir Putin and his government that prompted hundreds of arrests, including Navalny. Those protests stemmed from Navalny publishing a report alleging that prime minister Dmitry Medvedev was massively corrupt, so it’s no wonder that the Russian courts have ordered Navalny to retract and delete some of his investigative work.
Navalny has made his name publicizing alleged instances of corruption where government officials game the system to make millions. However, one of his targets, Alisher Usmanov (who owns part of the English soccer club Arsenal, among other things), fought back through a defamation lawsuit centered on a popular video (which you can watch in its 50-minute entirety below) that focused on prime minister Medvedev.
The court agreed with the oligarch and the prime minister, ordering Navalny to delete every reference to the allegations within 10 days, including an entire website, and to publish a retraction within three months. At the time of the decision, the offending video had over 21 million views. According to Reuters, Navalny plans to appeal the ruling.
“The reality that we see around us somewhat contradicts the court’s decision,” said Navalny. “The investigation was based on facts.”
Polls show that Navalny would lose the next Russian election, but he’s convinced that the fight against corruption goes beyond that.