Navalny Vows Putin Won't Destroy Relaunched Anti-Corruption Foundation

Alexey Navalny, an imprisoned Russian opposition leader, says he's reviving his Russian Anti-Corruption Foundation (ACF) after finding a way to sidestep Moscow's ban on the organization.

Navalny announced on Twitter Monday the relaunch of ACF, which previously rankled Kremlin officials with reports of grift and mismanagement. With some international help, Navalny is now resurrecting one of his most robust means of targeting Russian President Vladimir Putin and his allies.

Founded in 2011, the crowd-funded ACF was labeled by a Russian court in 2021 as an "extremist" organization. The court's ruling outlawed the organization and hobbled the growing influence of Navalny and his political network.

Navalny was jailed last year after returning from Germany to recover from what Western governments widely believe was an attempt by the Kremlin to poison him. After being sentenced in March to nine years in prison on fraud and contempt of court, Navalny said plans were in the works for the ACF's comeback.

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny
Opposition leader Alexei Navalny says he's relaunching his Russian Anti-Corruption Foundation. Above, Navalny appears May 17, 2022, on a screen in Moscow City Court via video link from his prison colony at an appeal of his sentence. Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV/Getty Images

"We talked about the fact that Putin and his crooks will not succeed in destroying the Anti-Corruption Foundation," Navalny said in a tweet Monday. "On the contrary, it will become a global international foundation."

Navalny said on Twitter that the organization will be recast as an international anti-corruption organization. Its advisory board, he said, will include his wife, Yulia Navalnaya; former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt and current member of the European Parliament; Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and journalist Anne Applebaum; and U.S. political scientist Francis Fukuyama.

Pledging to keep the revived foundation "completely transparent and clear," Navalny said in a tweet that its first contribution will be the 50,000 Euro Sakharov Prize, awarded to him last year by the European Union for his work promoting democracy and free thought.

Among the ACF's more notable publications before being dissolved was the 2021 documentary Putin's Palace. The video claimed one of Putin's largest residences in Russia was worth more than $1 billion and sprawled across 190,424 square feet, including a casino and its own vineyard. The Kremlin has denied the allegation.

The foundation in 2017 published He is Not Dimon to You, a documentary accusing Dmitry Medvedev, Russia's former president and prime minister, of receiving at least $1.2 billion in funds and assets from allies of Putin.

The revamped foundation said it'll continue its push to ensure Putin and his allies "can't enjoy their ill-gotten gains."

"Corruption kills," the website states. "As Ukrainian cities are bombed by Putin, this has never been more obvious. Putin and his circle have done everything to stay in power—and steal, and steal, and steal some more. High on their own supply, they started a devastating war."

After being imprisoned, Navalny has continued his irreverent criticism of Putin, as Navalny's lawyers have complained of the harsh treatment endured by their jailed client.

Newsweek has reached out to the Russian government for comment.