For years there has been very little opposition to the government of Vladimir Putin in Russia. This could be because most who oppose Putin and his regime aren’t strong enough to turn a protest into a movement, it could also be that most media is directly or indirectly controlled by the government. However recently, to the surprise of many, the youth in Russia have begun to speak out. They seem to be rallying around Russia’s main opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, who plans to run against Putin in next year’s Presidential elections.
The Russian economy has been hit hard with the falling price of oil but despite the struggling economy and the rumors of widespread corruption, support for Putin and his Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has remained strong. Alexei Navalny however has been relentlessly trying to prove that the system is rotten. Navalny has managed to get a large number of supporters in little amount of time and this is surprisingly mostly credited to his social media campaigns. He created a 42 minute video on Youtube, in Russian, revealing the corruption and political games Putin has been playing for several years in hopes of attracting people to support him. His prime target was Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian Prime Minister, who Navalny noticed was wearing a different pair of very expensive new shoes everyday. There was one pair of bright Nike Air Max trainers that Medvedev favors and by tracing that purchase and from that a number of similar purchases, Navalny (with a little help from the group Anonymous) was able to expose how Medvedev spends his money and where he gets it from. By uncovering the corruption that exists within the Russian political system, Navalny was able to mobilize protests in 80 different cities in Russia!