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Kremlin Foe Navalny Faces Difficulties While Opening Campaign Office

Aleksei Navalny in Kazan on March 5

Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny faced a series of obstacles when opening his election campaign headquarters in the Volga River city of Nizhny Novgorod on March 6.

Navalny wrote on Facebook that protesters met him at the city's railroad station holding placards suggesting that he was a traitor and should be jailed. Some chanted "Navalny is a U.S. agent!"

Navalny, a prominent anticorruption campaigner and foe of President Vladimir Putin, announced in December that he will run for president in a March 2018 election in which Putin is widely expected to seek a fourth term.

Russian authorities say Navalny will be barred from the ballot if a conviction on financial-crimes charges is upheld on appeal, but he has pushed ahead with campaign-style appearances.

The chief of Navalny's election team in Nizhny Novgorod, Anna Stepanova, said that several doors in the building housing his headquarters there were covered with insulation foam.

Navalny opened campaign headquarters in Kazan, Ufa, and Samara in recent days.

He denies wrongdoing and says his convictions in two separate cases were politically motivated punishment for his opposition to Putin.

With reporting by Interfax
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