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Opposition Activist Navalny Wins Russian Internet Media Awards Prize

© Sputnik / Maksim Blinov / Go to the photo bankAlexei Navalny
Alexei Navalny - Sputnik International
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Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny recieved prize for his personal blog at Russia's Internet Media Awards (IMA), nicknamed the Edward Snowden prize.

MOSCOW, November 14 (Sputnik) — Prominent Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny won Russia's Internet Media Awards (IMA) prize for best personal media on Friday.

The first IMA ceremony in Russia, nicknamed the Edward Snowden prize, was held in central Moscow as part of Russian Interactive Week.

Navalny has gained popularity for maintaining a large-scale online anti-corruption campaign. His blog, disclosing alleged cases of corruption by prominent Russian companies and politicians has repeatedly been ranked the most popular in the Russian cyberspace.

The activist also played a leading role in the 2011-2012 wave of mass street protests in Moscow. Initially, the protest movement accused Russian authorities of electoral fraud during the parliamentary vote. However, in 2012 the protests' focus shifted toward criticism of then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who decided to run for president for the third time and subsequently won the election.

Navalny also ran for Moscow's mayor in 2013, finishing second with 27 percent of the votes.

In 2013, the activist received a five-year suspended sentence for embezzling timber worth 16 million rubles (about $346,000 under the current exchange rate). In February 2014, a Moscow court ordered Navalny's house arrest, forbidding him from using the Internet, talking to media representatives, sending or receiving mail or receiving visitors. His blog has since been updated by his wife and fellow activists.

Alexei Navalny is also under investigation alongside his brother Oleg Navalny for embezzling money from cosmetics company Yves Rocher.

Legal proceeding against Navalny have been described as politically motivated by his proponents – claims, repeatedly denied by Russian authorities

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