For Russian leftists, Western favorite Navalny represents same corrupt elitism

Western politicians and media pundits portray Alexei Navalny as the leader of the Russian opposition. But Russian leftists see something quite different: a representative of a different faction of the Russian elite, who backs continued neoliberal policies and aligns with destabilizing NATO-backed actors.

The imprisoned Russian anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny has been held up in the West as the poster child of the Russian opposition. Two Russian leftists, Katya Kazbek and Alexey Sakhnin discuss why they don’t see Navalny as a genuine alternative to Vladimir Putin, and instead as a representative of a different faction of the ruling Russian elite — one more willing to cater to Western counterparts.


Katya Kazbek. Writer, translator and the editor-in-chief of arts and culture magazine

Alexey Sakhnin. Russian activist and a member of the Left Front. He was one of the leaders of the anti-Putin protest movement from 2011 to 2013.