Alexei Navalny, the opposition leader and anti-corruption blogger, was named by U.S. magazine Time as one the world's 100 most influential figures, drawing a protest Thursday from an aide to President-elect Vladimir Putin.
Navalny, who rose to prominence amid mass protests over December's disputed State Duma elections, is the only Russian mentioned on the list, which also includes the likes of Saudi women's activist Manal al-Sharif and American immigration rights activist Dulce Matuz.
“Influence was never easier — or more ephemeral,” Time wrote in an editorial Wednesday. “Which is why we try to choose those people whose influence is both lasting and, with a few notable exceptions, laudable.”
It praised Navalny for “harnessing the growth of Internet use to connect protesters via blogging.”
"Navalny has mastered the blogging and social networks that the opposition depends on since we are banned from the mainstream media," opposition figure and former chess champion Garry Kasparov wrote in a separate Time article.
Although the list includes world leaders like U.S. President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese leader Xi Jinping, Putin is missing. Time named him as its person of the year in 2007.
Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov complained that Putin’s absence was “a mistake.”
“It is, of course, a mistake — I just don't know what criteria they were guided by,” Peskov told Kommersant-FM radio. “In this case, I'll say this: [Putin's] authority within the country is well-known, it was confirmed electorally just recently, and Putin's international authority is also in no need of confirmation.”
Navalny indicated that he was more concerned that one of his staffers was not receiving treatment at a Moscow hospital than celebrating his appearance on the list.
“What is the point of being the most influential person if stupid Hospital No. 36 doesn’t want to treat your employees?” he wrote on his Twitter blog.