Freed Russian opposition leader arrives in Moscow

 Alexei Navalny is greeted by hundreds of supporters as he arrives in Moscow
Alexei Navalny is greeted by hundreds of supporters as he arrives in Moscow. Credit: REUTERS/Grigory Dukor

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

The blogger, who is a severe critic of the Russian President Vladimir Putin, was sentenced to five years imprisonment on Thursday, but then released because prosecutors said his jail time would infringe his right to stand in the Moscow Mayoral Elections.

"I realise that if it wasn't for you I wouldn't be standing here for the next five years" he told his supporters.

"You have destroyed a key privilege that the Kremlin has been trying to keep."

"That it is their alleged right to say to any person arrest him on the spot."

Alexei Navalny with his wife Yulia are greeted by crowds in Moscow
Alexei Navalny with his wife Yulia are greeted by crowds in Moscow. Credit: REUTERS/Grigory Dukor
Alexei Navalny speaks to reporters in Moscow after he was released from jail
Alexei Navalny speaks to reporters in Moscow after he was released from jail. Credit: REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

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Russian activist freed on bail

A Russian court has temporarily freed opposition leader Alexei Navalny on bail, but placed travel restrictions on him while he appeals a five-year jail sentence for theft. Navalny is a prominent critic of President Vladimir Putin.