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Russian Opposition Leader Navalny Fined Over Moscow Rally

Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny
Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny

A Russian court on August 3 ordered opposition leader Aleksei Navalny and two of his associates to pay fines for distributing leaflets at an unauthorized rally in Moscow last month.

Navalny said police came to his home and he was taken to court and charged with violating election canvassing rules by distributing the leaflets and calling for people to participate in the rally in a YouTube video.

Navalny, who has announced his intention to run in the March 2018 presidential election, has maintained that the rally was lawful.

But the court ruled that Navalny and his associates Leonid Volkov and Nikolai Lyaskin violated the law and should pay fines ranging from 250,000 to 300,000 rubles ($4,140-$4,960).

"A fine of 300,000. Later, we'll subtract it from the judge's salary," Navalny tweeted after the decision.

While Navalny is a declared presidential candidate, Russia's electoral authorities said in June that his conviction on embezzlement charges means he is ineligible to run.

Navalny, who rose to prominence with his investigations of official corruption, also organized two massive nationwide protests earlier this year, the largest in years. He served a 25-day sentence for staging June's protest.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, Reuters, TASS, and Interfax