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Freed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny arrives in Moscow

The Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has returned to Moscow after his surprising release from prison following his conviction for embezzlement.

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Russian anti-corruption activist freed temporarily

A Russian court temporarily released opposition leader Alexei Navalny from custody on Friday, but placed him under travel restrictions while he awaits the outcome of an appeal against a five-year jail sentence.

Navalny was the first opposition leader to use social media to challenge the state. Credit: Reuters

Prosecutors unexpectedly asked for Navalny, one of President Vladimir Putin's biggest critics, to be allowed to await the appeal decision at home in Moscow after his conviction on theft charges in the city of Kirov.

Thousands of opposition activists protested against the verdict yesterday, with dozens detained during the rallies.

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