“Non-campaign of a non-candidate” – Alexei Navalny in the 2018 presidential election in Russia

Main Article Content

Łukasz Donaj
Natalia Kusa


In March 2018, another presidential election took place in the Russian Federation. For the fourth time Vladimir Putin won the election by a large majority of votes. Alexei Navalny – an oppositioncandidate who had been preparing his election campaign since the end of 2016 – was not allowed to stand in the election. Regardless of his elimination from the election, Navalny remained an active member of Russian political life before and after the election; he carried out a boycott of the election, and organized post-election protests. Without a doubt, despite the ban on running in the election, Navalny was one of the main figures in the electoral process. Thus, the aim of this article is a detailed analysis of Navalny’s preparations for the campaign – the authors focused not only on the candidate’s opposition activity, but also on his unique measures and methods of running a campaign (Internet, social media, crowdfunding). The article examines the campaign preparations, as well as the reasons for the rejection of Navalny’s registration as an election candidate, social support index, relationships with other candidates and the change of strategy after the Central Election Commission’s decision. The analysis is based on Russian law, Central Election Commission’s decisions, opinion poll results and information from the Russian and international media.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

Jak cytować
Donaj, Łukasz, & Kusa, N. (2018). “Non-campaign of a non-candidate” – Alexei Navalny in the 2018 presidential election in Russia. Środkowoeuropejskie Studia Polityczne, (3), 21-34. https://doi.org/10.14746/ssp.2018.3.2
Biogramy autorów

Łukasz Donaj, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań

graduated from the Institute of Political Science and Journalism at Adam Mickiewicz University (AMU) in Poznań and was granted a Master’s Diploma in journalism in 2000. In 2004, a doctoral degree in humanities within the field of political science was conferred on him (The Security Policy of Sovereign Ukraine) at the same Institute and, in 2014 – a post-doctoral degree (habilitation) in humanities within the field of political science (The Conditions, Process, and Results of the Transformation in the Post-Soviet Area) at the Faculty of Political Science and Journalism at AMU. From 2005 to 2009, he was Assistant Professor, Vice Dean for Full-Time Studies at the Faculty of International Studies and Diplomacy at the Łódź Academy of International Studies. From 2007 to 2009, he was Vice President of the Łódź Section of the Polish Association of Political Science. Between 2009 and 2015, he was Assistant Professor at the Department of International Relations of the AMU Faculty of Political Science and Journalism. From 2015, Professor at Adam Mickiewicz University. The author/editor of nine monographs and over 100 academic articles and reviews (published in Polish, English, Russian, Ukrainian, and Kazakh); deputy assistant editor of “Przegląd Strategiczny”; member of  the editorial boards of “PolitBook”, “Youth. World. Politics”, “Человеческий капитал”, “Проблемы постсоветского пространства”, “Refleksje”, “Общество: политика, экономика, право”; reviewer of the magazines: “R/evolutions. Global Trends & Regional Issues”, “Pogranicze. Polish Borderland Studies”, “Świat Idei i Polityki”, “Wschód Europy. Studia Humanistyczno-Społeczne”, „Przegląd Europejski”, „Sensus Historiae. Studia interdyscyplinarne”, „International Studies. Interdisciplinary Political and Cultural Journal”, “Colloquium”, “Środkowoeuropejskie Studia Polityczne”, e-Politikon and Civitas et Lex”; member of: Polish Political Science Association, Polish Association for International Studies (since 2013 President of the Poznań Section), Consortium of Academic Strategic Studies and the Centre for European Research and Education. Supervisor and reviewer of about 600 dissertations – Bachelor’s, Master’s, and seminars, written on international relations, European studies, political science, journalism and social communications, state governance and national security. Reviewer and member of the doctoral/habilitation degree procedures committee. His research and teaching primarily focus on issues of security, and the internal and external situation of Ukraine, the freedom of press in post-Soviet countries, political communication and issues of political forecasting.

Natalia Kusa, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań

PhD student at the Department of Political Systems at the Faculty of Political Science and Journalism at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. She graduated with a Master’s degree in political science in the field of local government administration, as well as in advertising and promotion. She completed internships and scholarships at the Saint Petersburg State University (2018) and the Linguistic University in Moscow (2015). Her research interests focus on the issues of socio political changes in post-Soviet countries, transformations within Russian society and the functioning of the opposition in the contemporary political system of the Russian Federation. Member of the editorial board of the academic journal “Reflections” and the Doctoral Council of the Faculty of Political Science and Journalism. Organizer of student exchange with universities in the Russian Federation.


  1. «Забастовка избирателей»: по стране задержаны более 350 человек, в их числе – Навальный, “Новая газета”, https://www.novayagazeta.ru/articles/2018/01/28/75298-zabastovka-izbirateley-28-yanvarya-onlayn, 21.05.2018.
  2. Kolesnikov A. (2017), Alexei Navalny’s Permanent Revolution, http://carnegie.ru/2017/10/09/alexei-navalny-s-permanent-revolution-pub-73338, 22.05.2018.
  3. Konstytucja Federacji Rosyjskiej przyjęta w ogólnonarodowym referendum w dniu 12 grudnia 1993 roku, http://libr.sejm.gov.pl/tek01/txt/konst/rosja.html, 19.05.2018.
  4. Strzelecki J. (2017), Nawalny wyeliminowany z wyborów prezydenckich w Rosji, Analizy OSW, https://www.osw.waw.pl/pl/publikacje/analizy/2017-05-10/nawalny-wyeliminowany-z-wyborow-prezydenckich-w-rosji, 19.05.2018.
  5. Год кампании в цифрах и событиях, https://2018.navalny.com/post/502/, 20.05.2018.
  6. Кампания Навального 2018. Как это было, https://2018.navalny.com/, 22.05.2018.
  7. Лебеденко С. (2018), «Не узнаю без грима». Суд арестовал Навального на 30 су-ток за акцию «Он вам не царь». Заседание длилось около восьми часов, https://www.novayagazeta.ru/articles/2018/05/16/76486-ne-uznayu-bez-grima, 22.05.2018.
  8. Левада-Центр (2017a), Российский Медиаландшафт – 2017, https://www.levada.ru/2017/08/22/16440/, 20.05.2018.
  9. Левада-Центр (2017b), Протесты и Навальный, https://www.levada.ru/2017/07/17/protesty-i-navalnyj/, 20.05.2018.
  10. Литой А. (2018), Акции против «царя»: избитые, задержанные, несовершен-нолетние, ОВД-Инфо, https://ovdinfo.org/articles/2018/05/08/akcii-protivcarya-izbitye-zaderzhannye-nesovershennoletnie, 18.05.2018.
  11. Объявляем забастовку избирателей, https://2018.navalny.com/post/496/, 21.05.2018.
  12. Определение Конституционного Суда Российской Федерайии об отказе в при-нятии к рассмотрению жалобы гражданина Навального Алексея Анатольевича на нарушение его конституционных прав подпунктом 1 пункта 52 статьи 3 Федерального закона „О выборах Президента Российской Федерации”, http://doc.ksrf.ru/decision/KSRFDecision310695.pdf, 19.05.2018.
  13. Прекрасная Россия Будущего, https://2018.navalny.com/post/492/, 21.05.2018.
  14. Программа Алексея Навального, https://2018.navalny.com/platform/, 21.05.2018.
  15. Процедура выборов президента в Российской Федерации, РИА Новости, https://ria.ru/spravka/20171218/1510514992.html, 19.05.2018.
  16. Федеральный закон „О выборах Президента Российской Федерации” от 10.01.2003 N 19-ФЗ, http://www.consultant.ru/document/cons_doc_LAW_40445/, 19.05.2018.
  17. Филимонов A. (2018), «Он нам не царь», последствия: полторы тысячи задер-жанных, рекордные штрафы, тайные суды и одно уголовное дело (заякобы выбитый у полицейского зуб), https://meduza.io/feature/2018/05/07/on-nam-ne-tsar posledstviya-poltory-tysyachi-zaderzhannyh-rekordnyeshtrafy-taynye-sudy-i-odno-ugolovnoe-delo-za-yakoby-vybityy-u-politseyskogo-zub, 22.05.2018.
  18. Финальный финансовый отчет кампании, Навальный20!8, https://2018.navalny.com/post/1075/, 20.05.2018.