Russia’s reputation for being a political hotbed will not soon go away, and one of its leading opposition leaders, Alexei Navalny, will help ensure that, as it has now been made apparent that he has received significant funding in the form of Bitcoin.
Navalny is a lawyer by profession turned political activist. Born in 1976, he founded the Russia of the Future party in 2018, after a five-year stint with Progress Party. The party’s main themes are anti-corruption and is a constant critic of the current government and its leader, President Vladimir Putin.
He set up the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) which regularly exposes politicians’ wrongdoings. Its publicly known Bitcoin address, since made available three years ago, has now received a total of 593 BTC (currently worth over USD 2.8 million). Most of that has been spent almost as regularly as they are received, so the actual amount received and converted to hard cash is difficult to estimate.
The donations came to light, however, when an anonymous Telegram channel, FBK Staffer’s Confession, this week pointed out that the wallet received several large donations shortly before an investigation was aired. Pro-Putin media Tsargrad TV also covered the story.
FBK’s chief of staff Leonid Volkov has denied any links between the donations and its investigations, claiming that the anonymous tip “dragged the non-existent facts together in by the head and shoulders”. He added:
“You can say that each time Encke’s Comet approaches the Earth it coincides with a big war: 1914 (First World War), 1941 (World War II) and 2014 (War on Eastern Ukraine). But its rotation period is three years, and it approached the Earth many times when there were no big wars.”
Navalny is seen by many as the biggest threat to the current administration, having himself attempted to run for presidency, and has been imprisoned on several occasions, deemed as a political prisoner by the Memorial Human Rights Center.
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