Alexei Navalny has been a revolutionary figure in Russia for a number of years. The politician has been an outspoken critic against corruption in Russia. He ran for president of Russia in 2016 and tried to run again in 2018. He’s currently serving a 9-year prison sentence on fraud convictions, but many people believe that his arrest stemmed from his activism against corruption in Russia. By his side through it all has been his wife Yulia Navalnaya (née Abrosimova).
'My husband is in prison for telling the truth' — Yulia Navalnaya, wife of imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, accepted the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature for 'Navalny' #Oscars pic.twitter.com/qehQjeCPZc
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) March 13, 2023
When the film about her husband won the Academy Award for Best Documentary at the 95th annual Academy Awards, Yulia shared a message of encouragement for her husband as he serves his sentence. “My husband is in prison, just for telling the truth. My husband is in prison, just for defending democracy. Alexei, I am dreaming of the day when you will be free, and our country will be free. Stay strong, my love,” she said. Find out more about Yulia and Alexei’s marriage here.
Alexei & Yulia Have Been Married Since 2000
Alexei and Yulia first met in 1998, and the connection was instant. The pair crossed paths while at a resort in Turkey. The future Russian presidential candidate was only working as a lawyer at the time. “He immediately felt that I would be his wife,” she told journalist Julia Ioffe, who recounted the conversation in Vanity Fair in a July 2021 story. The pair got married in 2000, and shortly after Alexei began his political pursuits.
The pair celebrated 20 years of marriage in 2020, when Alexei was recovering in a German hospital from being poisoned. She visited and spoke with him and played him music while he recovered. After the politician was better, he credited his wife with helping him recover. “Yulia, you saved me, and let them put it in all the neurobiology textbooks,” he said.
They have two children
Alexei and Yulia are parents to two children. Their daughter Daria is 22, and their son Zahar is 14. When accepting the Academy Award, both of their children were also present. After their first child was born, Yulia became a stay-at-home mom, but she quickly became very involved in her husband’s political ambitions.
She revealed that the difficult hours that a politician holds were difficult at first for the family, but she quickly learned about how important his work was. “At first it irritated me, but then I see what people write about him, about what a good job he’s doing, about who would do it if it weren’t for him,” she said, according to Vanity Fair.
Yulia was her husband’s secretary when he first ran for office
When Alexei began his political career as a blogger and activist, his wife took up a prominent role in his efforts. She acted not only as his wife, but as his assistant and secretary, per Woman. As Alexei rose as an activist and eventually politician, Yulia became more outspoken and joined him at campaign events and spoke in his favor on multiple occasions, like when one of his opponents Viktor Zolotov challenged him to a duel, she shared a strong message dismissing him. “The only feeling I have for Zolotov is contempt. I despise him as a thief and a coward,” she wrote in an Instagram post, per Meduza. “He is a coward because he never responded to any of the allegations of corruption made by the FBK and backed up by ironclad evidence.”
Since her husband’s imprisonment and when he was poisoned, Yulia has become more of a public figure. While Alexei was hospitalized in 2020, she regularly shared updates and thanked his supporters for their well wishes on her Instagram.
She was named one of the most influential women in Russia
With all of her public support and speaking out against Russian corruption, Yulia has also become a prominent figure in the opposition party. She’s inspired so many people to speak out against the government, and she’s been nicknamed the “First Lady” of the opposition party. She’s used her platform to encourage others, and she’s shared glimpses of how her activism has affected her family, yet they remain unwavering. “I am not afraid, and I urge you all not to be afraid either,” she said during a January 2021 speech, per NBC News.Click to Subscribe to Get Our Free HollywoodLife Daily Newsletter to get the hottest celeb news.