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Vox Pop: Muscovites On The Navalny Verdict


Russian opposition leader and anticorruption blogger Aleksei Navalny

Russian opposition leader and anticorruption blogger Aleksei Navalny

RFE/RL correspondent Tom Balmforth asked Moscow residents ahead of the verdict on July 18 what they expected in the embezzlement case against Aleksei Navalny.

MEANWHILE Navalny's candidacy for Moscow mayor was confirmed on July 17

Here are some of their answers:

Igor, 25

Igor, 25

Igor, 25, transportation sector
"I think Navalny will be found guilty. It's most likely a political case and possibly was initiated to stop his candidacy for Moscow mayor. I think he will get a minimum sentence, but he will get a prison term. He might also get a suspended sentence. That would probably be the authorities' compromise -- to find him guilty but not to put him behind bars, and give him a suspended sentence."

Aleksei Litvyakov, 28

Aleksei Litvyakov, 28


Aleksei Litvyakov, 28, journalist
"I think it will be a guilty verdict and then the appeals process will begin. I think it will be a drawn-out show trial. It is meant to distract our attention away from more important things, to draw us away from more important political problems. It's like a cartoon: the animation of Aleksei Navalny. He's a talented lawyer and I really respect him for that. At the moment, he is making serious attempts to acquire power. He's ambitious. Let's see."

Pavel, 26

Pavel, 26


Pavel, 26, engineer
"I expect a guilty verdict. It really can't end any other way under these circumstances, unfortunately. This is not justice, this is lawlessness. To be honest, I'm not interested even in the concrete number of years he is going to get. I am just bitter at the very thought that this person is going to serve his time in some distant place. It won't even be a suspended sentence or some kind of house arrest. I think he really is heading for jail. I would personally want an innocent verdict."

Tatyana Prokofiyeva, 55

Tatyana Prokofiyeva, 55


Tatyana Prokofiyeva, 55, financial manager
"I am apolitical; I don't take an interest in politics. But instinctively I would say that it will be a [guilty verdict]. At least to start with, it will be [a tough sentence] and then he will be able to appeal it."

Nadya, 42, attorney
"I expect a bad verdict. What's important is whether it's going to be [a] suspended [sentence] or not. I'm hoping for a suspended sentence. I expect [a guilty verdict] because people have been in detention for a year already in the Bolotnaya case [against those who protested on the eve of Vladimir Putin's inauguration in May 2012]. They still haven't been sentenced and they are in detention. There's little chance of a positive outcome here either."

Aleksandr, 56

Aleksandr, 56

Aleksandr, 56, engineer
"To be honest, it's all the same to me. [The name Aleksei Navalny] is an empty sound to me. It doesn't mean anything to me. The aims [of the trial] also don't worry me. It's honestly all the same to me."
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