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Aleksei Navalny, Kremlin Critic, Gets 30 Days in Jail for Protest

“They gave me 30 days and the ‘hearing’ still goes on,” Mr. Navalny wrote. “This is a very strange feeling, but this is Putin’s fifth term. Something has to be different from the fourth term,” he added. His count pointedly including the period from 2008 to 2012 when Mr. Putin was officially the prime minister and Dmitri A. Medvedev the president.

In court, Mr. Navalny called the judge “merely a supplement to a telephone handset,” according to his spokeswoman, alluding to a suspicion that judges in Russia receive instructions from the Kremlin via telephone.

Mr. Navalny attempted to challenge Mr. Putin in the latest presidential race. He organized a campaign that was unusually active for Russia, traveling to dozens of cities to speak at rallies and to open campaign offices. But he was repeatedly interrupted by Russian courts, which sentenced him to a total of 60 days in jail during the campaign period.

Aleksei Navalny, Kremlin Critic, Gets 30 Days in Jail for Protest
Aleksei Navalny, Kremlin Critic, Gets 30 Days in Jail for Protest

In December, the Russian election authority refused to register Mr. Navalny as a presidential candidate, citing his criminal record. He has repeatedly said that the charges against him were trumped up to exclude him from politics.

Following the election, easily won by Mr. Putin with 76 percent of the vote, Mr. Navalny vowed to continue his political fight using the offices he had established.

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