July 20 - Russian anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny, who received a five-year jail sentence for theft on Thursday (July 18), rouses his supporters in Moscow after being freed on bail. Lily Grimes reports.
Met by cheering crowds as he arrives in Moscow, the hero of the Russian opposition Alexei Navalny. Convicted on Thursday of stealing some half-a-million dollars, on what critics see as politically motivated charges, Navalny was then released on bail a day later pending an appeal. Rallying his supporters, Navalny re-affirmed his intention to run in Moscow's mayoral election in September. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN OPPOSITION LEADER, ALEXEI NAVALNY, SAYING: "We have a big and difficult electoral campaign in front of us, seven weeks of non-stop work, and this is just the beginning. Let's not just take to the streets once and force them to release political prisoners. Many opponents of the regime are jailed. We need to get them all freed. Let's fight for political power in our country right now!" Navalny's surprise release from a court in Kirov came after thousands of protesters denounced his five-year jail sentence as a crude attempt by President Vladimir Putin to silence a political opponent. Putin's spokesman called the protests "mobs" and warned that the rallies were illegal.