A Russian lawyer who went by the name of Alexei “Alexei” Navalny has risen to prominence in the country’s far right and was once a deputy in the Russian Duma, the lower house of the Russian Parliament.
Navalny, who was born in 1980 in the central Russian city of Volgograd, is known for his activism against corruption and the Kremlin.
In January, Navalny said that he had been approached by a representative of RT, which is owned by the Russian government.
The Russian network later said it had no contact with Navalny and he had never been approached.
RT later clarified that it had never had any contact with the lawyer.
But Navalny was a guest of RT and it was widely reported in the West that Navalny spoke to the network.
Navaly’s popularity among Russian nationalists and hard-liners has made him a prominent figure in the anti-corruption movement and has attracted support from the Kremlin, which has long been accused of using its media to support anti-government forces.
Navalys rise has drawn the attention of the United States, which accuses the Kremlin of trying to suppress Navalny by silencing the voice of its critics.
“He is a rising star in Russian politics and he is being groomed by Russian nationalists for the position of deputy speaker,” US Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters on Friday.
“I think that the US has a responsibility to ensure that this sort of movement does not succeed and that Russia does not have another Alexei N. Navalry,” he said.
The Trump administration has taken an increasingly aggressive stance against Navalny in recent weeks, calling him a Russian spy and a “traitor” for criticizing the Kremlin and its leader, Vladimir Putin.
Navalyan was also banned from entering the United Kingdom on Saturday after being found guilty of attempting to undermine the countrys democracy by threatening to “shut down” its British Parliament.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday condemned the US government’s actions and accused the US of “unintentionally interfering” in the domestic affairs of Russia.