Nobel Peace Prize won by Ales Bialiatski, Memorial, Center for Civil Liberties

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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, left, and exiled leader of the opposition in Belarus, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya are seen in recent photos. (Getty Images)

Critics of the Russian regime and its allies are among those whom many expect to clinch the award.

Alexey Navalny, the Kremlin critic and opposition leader who was sentenced to jail on fraud charges by a Moscow court this year, features atop many experts’ predictions.

Navalny is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent domestic critic, and his dissenting views have almost cost him his life. He was poisoned with a nerve agent in 2020, an attack several Western officials and Navalny himself openly blamed on the Kremlin. Russia has denied any involvement.

After a five-month stay in Germany recovering from the Novichok poisoning, Navalny last year returned to Moscow, where he was immediately arrested for violating probation terms imposed from a 2014 case.

Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya is also generally seen as a strong contender. The dissident was forced into exile in Lithuania after running against strongman leader and Putin ally Alexander Lukashenko in an August 2020 election denounced by the international community as neither free nor fair.

A joint win for Tsikhanouskaya and Navalny is predicted by Henrik Urdal, the director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo, who draws up a shortlist of frontrunners for the prize annually.

“Both Tsikhanouskaya and Navalny are vocal critics of the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” Urdal wrote this year. “A shared Nobel Peace Prize between them would be seen as a clear protest of the Russian aggression and the assistance by Belarus, and as support of democratic and non-violent alternatives to Lukashenko and Putin.”



Source : Nbcnewyork