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Russian Opposition Leader Navalny Released From Detention


Police Raid Moscow Headquarters Of Opposition Leader Navalny
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WATCH: Police Raid Moscow Headquarters Of Opposition Leader Navalny

MOSCOW -- Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny has been released from a Moscow detention center after 25 days under administrative arrest.

Navalny’s spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said on social media on July 7 that Navalny was released at 9 a.m. Moscow time.

Reuters reports that Russian media and Navalny’s detractors had expected him to be freed later in the day and were waiting for him at a different location.

Navalny, an outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has twice had a green antiseptic liquid thrown on his face by detractors, causing him partial sight loss.

Navalny’s supporters were planning a series of campaign events for July 8, including the distribution of the first edition of his preelection newspaper.

Aleksei Navalny (file photo)
Aleksei Navalny (file photo)

Russian police briefly detained the coordinator of Navalny's campaign office in the city of Perm, just hours before Navalny was released.

Maksim Zhilin was stopped by police officers on July 6 while carrying election campaign materials supporting Navalny, the Perm office wrote on the popular Russian social-networking site VKontakte.

It said Zhilin was released in the early hours of July 7.

Perm office employee Natalya Vavilova said on VKontakte that police also seized “several boxes” of campaign materials from Zhilin’s car and from another vehicle belonging to Navalny supporters.

The Interfax news agency quoted Vavilova as saying on July 7 that police officers filed a report on "the confiscation of 3 tons of leaflets and newspapers intended for distribution.”

Navalny, who has organized several antigovernment protests, completed a 25-day sentence on July 7 after being convicted on charges of violating a law against organizing public meetings.

On July 6, Russian authorities raided Navalny’s election office in Moscow.

Navalny supporters said 10 police officers entered the Kremlin critic’s headquarters in Moscow, seizing computers and campaign literature.

Authorities also sealed the doors to Navalny’s Moscow headquarter after the raid.

Navalny has vowed to run for Russia's presidency in March 2018, when Vladimir Putin is widely expected to win reelection.

Russian officials have barred Navalny from participating in the election, citing a criminal conviction that Navalny say was a politically motivated case aimed at blocking him from running.

With reporting by Reuters, BBC, Interfax, and TASS