In the Russian city of Yekaterinburg, in the Russian oblast of Sverdlovsk, local newspapers ran a picture of Russian activist and Yale World Fellow Alexei Navalny consorting with fugitive Russian millionaire Boris Berezovsky. The photo spurred rumors that the prominent anti-corruption leader was receiving bribes himself.
“Alexei Navalny has never made any secret of the fact that the oligarch Boris Berezovsky gives him money to fight Putin,” the newspaper’s caption said.
But the image was fake. Navalny proved the image had been photoshopped by posting the original photo, which showed him next to opposition presidential candidate Mikhail Prokhov, on his blog. Navalny said that it had likely been stolen when his email account was hacked last year.
Since then, the photograph has been re-doctored on several blogs to show Navalny conspiring with aliens, Stalin and even Lord Voldemort.
Navalny was sentenced to fifteen days of jail time in December and has since risen to become a prominent opposition figure.