07/20/2013, 00.00
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Navalny arrives in Moscow, "I will run in elections and I will win"

The anti-Putin blogger back from Kirov, where a local court sentenced him to five years in prison for fraud. Crowds of supporters and journalists welcomes him at Yaroslavsky station.

Moscow (AsiaNews) - The opposition blogger Alexei Navalny will run in elections for mayor of Moscow. He declared as much speaking to journalists and supporters who welcomed him today, 20 July, at Moscow's Yarsolavsky station, returning from Kirov. The lawyer-blogger who has become the leader of the anti-Putin movement was sentenced on 17 July by a local court to five years in a penal colony for fraud and embezzlement in a trail many consider the Kremlin's political vendetta against the 'activist who for years has denounced corruption at the highest levels of the civil service.

After arresting him in the courtroom, the judges finally decided to release him: He will have to stay in Moscow until the appeal is set, but that does not prevent him from participating in the electoral race.

"We will participate in the elections and we will win," he said to his numerous supporters. He then acknowledged that he expects a difficult campaign, but said he was willing to work hard in the coming weeks that separate him from the 8 September vote. He will challenge the current mayor of the capital, Sergei Sobyanin, who is widely favored in the polls.

Among the crowd that gave him a heros welcome, many wore T-shirts that read "I am Navalny's brother" as a sign of solidarity. Some chanted "Navalny mayor." (N.A.)


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