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Aleksei Navalny Verdict Protests -- Liveblog

RFE/RL is live-blogging a mass unsanctioned protest taking place near the Kremlin this evening after a Kirov court sentenced Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny to five years in a penal colony. The decision has been widely condemned as politically motivated.

Here's a quick summary of today's events
  • Aleksei Navalny and co-defendant Pytor Ofitserov are convicted by a Kirov court of embezzlement and sentenced to five and four years in jail, respectively.
  • The final post from Navalny's Twitter account after the verdict reminds supporters to gather in protest at Manezh Square in Moscow on July 18.
  • Authorities close off Manezh Square and Red Square, with hundreds of people already gathering nearby.
  • Navalny's lawyer urges Muscovites to boycott local elections in September.
  • U.S. and EU officials cast doubt on the trial and cite political motives, echoing similar accusations from rights groups.
11:12 19.7.2013
UPDATE: Navalny and Ofitserov freed on Bail. Navalny says he will meet with campaign team in Moscow.

01:54 19.7.2013
Shutting down for now. There are still interspersed protests and likely to be more arrests as the night goes on. All eyes will be on Kirov again tomorrow, when the court will decide whether Navalny and his business partner, Pyotr Ofitserov, can leave prison while appeals are processed.

A brief summary of today's events:
-Aleksei Navalny and co-defendant Pytor Ofitserov are convicted by a Kirov court of embezzlement and sentenced to five and four years in a penal colony, respectively.

-Prosecutors in Kirov say Navalny and Ofitserov, his business partner, should not have been arrested today. There will be a hearing tomorrow to determine if they should be released while they await appeals.
-Navalny's campaign says if he is released he will continue to run for Moscow mayor.
-In Moscow, between 3,000 and 5,000 demonstrators protest Navalny's conviction in an unsanctioned protest near the Kremlin. Over twenty other Russian cities host protests -- most drawing no more than a few hundred.

- At least 100 people are detained in Moscow, while over 30 are apprehended in Saint Petersburg.

To find out what this all means, tune in tomorrow to the "Power Vertical" podcast, with Brian Whitmore.

-- Glenn Kates

01:32 19.7.2013
Translation of a Tweet from Navalny's campaign manager.

01:29 19.7.2013
Ksenia Sobchak, the opposition's most prominent Russian socialite, calls this her photo of the day. The M in Duma is repaced with and R, creating the Russian word "dura," or fool.

00:02 19.7.2013
23:58 18.7.2013
It hasn't completely petered out in Moscow.

23:41 18.7.2013
Things seem to be winding down in Moscow. Via our Tatar Service, here's a picket of about 25 people in Kazan.

23:38 18.7.2013
View from the paddywagon

23:35 18.7.2013
From RFE/RL correspondent Richard Solash in Washington:
More U.S. senators have chimed in to protest the Navalny verdict. Senator Roger Wicker says the conviction "proves that Russia is not committed to upholding basic human rights." "These types of cruelties isolate Russia on the global stage and could have grave consequences for the future of Europe."

Senator Chris Murphy says "Kremlin itself made clear" that charges were politically motivated," Navalny "should be released immediately and allowed to continue his campaign for Mayor of Moscow.”

The senators who have issued statements today on Navalny were all supportive -- in the case of Cardin and McCain, instrumental -- in passage of the Sergei Magnitsky Act.
23:20 18.7.2013

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