His case is sending a message that the Kremlin is frightened of a blogger with a cult following who made his name exposing graft in high places.
If the opposition activist is jailed even as he manages to convince the public that he is innocent, his stature will only grow.
He and other elites have been vanquished, but the oligarchy remains. Just the names have changed.
The discipline that prevented skirmishes during Putin's first stint in the Kremlin is giving way to a free-for-all in which nobody is untouchable.
New signs of the regime's erosion from within
A shady smear campaign by Russia's elite signals that Putin may soon be a lame duck.
Putin is fighting corruption, but only to ensure loyalty among the country's oligarchs.
The Kremlin appears to have concluded that, with animosity toward the elite rising, the prevailing political status quo needs to be shaken up.
With a list of criminal charges against him, Alexi Navalny has gone from cult blogger to political legend.
Why a brief moment of hope for a more open Russia, embodied by the country's former president, faded.
The Russian president knows he won't be in charge forever. And he might be looking for a successor.
Intrigue, mayhem, and public shenanigans have gripped the upper echelons of the Russian elite -- just as they did in last days of Boris Yeltsin's rule.
Meet the Russian president's go-to operator, a man whose power inside Russia's leadership structure is rapidly increasing.
Remembering one of Russia's greatest legal crusaders
A fractious opposition movement, a divided elite, urgent demographic pressures, and a growing and frustrated middle class could make for a volatile 2013.
At the end of 2012, Russia is uneasily suspended between one political era resisting its end and another struggling to begin.
It wasn't to break news.
... and what it says about the state of Russia's political elite
What an alliance between a former finance minister and a prominent opposition leader could mean for the prospects of political reform.
Leaked documents suggest that the Russian president is considering a re-branding. Don't count on it.