News / Europe

Navalny Returns to Moscow to Run for Mayor

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny (L) addresses his supporters after arriving from Kirov, with his wife, Yulia, standing nearby, at a railway station in Moscow, July 20, 2013.
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny (L) addresses his supporters after arriving from Kirov, with his wife, Yulia, standing nearby, at a railway station in Moscow, July 20, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
— Anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny is back in Moscow after being freed on bail pending an appeal of his theft conviction. The opposition leader says he is ready to campaign for Moscow’s upcoming mayoral election.

When 37-year-old lawyer Alexei Navalny arrived in Kirov facing theft charges, he automatically assumed he would be found guilty.

And he was.

The anti-corruption blogger was convicted of stealing $500,000 from a state timber firm while he was serving as an unpaid advisor to a governor in the region in 2009.

Navalny and his supporters have consistently maintained that he was targeted by the Kremlin because he spearheaded demonstrations against Vladimir Putin as he prepared to return to the presidency for an unprecedented third term.

But in a surprising twist, after thousands took to the streets across Russia protesting Navalny’s conviction, prosecutors asked that he be freed on bail pending appeal.

Navalny said that he is surprised.

He said we understand that what has happened now is a unique thing in the Russian judicial system and that it has never happened to anybody else.

The newly freed Navalny, along with his wife, arrived on an overnight train from Kirov to a welcome by hundreds of supporters in Moscow early Saturday morning.

The activist told them that it was because of their support that he was a free man, at least for a month, until the court could hear his appeal.

Navalny says he is going to make every moment count by throwing himself into running in Moscow’s mayoral race and that he will win.

Right after his release, the lawyer seemed more ambivalent about his ambitions for Moscow’s mayor.

He said, "I am not the Kremlin’s pet kitten or their puppy who they can throw out of the election. I am going to discuss everything with my electoral campaign staff."

An independent poll by the Levada Center taken earlier this month shows that Navalny would attract about eight percent support among likely voters in Moscow’s first mayoral election in decades. Mayors were previously appointed.

The Kremlin has consistently maintained that it is not singling out Navalny, merely enforcing the law.

Meanwhile, some analysts say Navalny’s release, albeit temporarily, could signal a shift in what many see as Mr. Putin’s crack down on dissent.

You May Like

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Open Source Seeds Hit the Market, Raise Awareness

First open source seeds include 29 new varieties of broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetables and grains More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid