Kremlin critic Navalny freed from latest prison stint

Kremlin critic Navalny freed from latest prison stint
The blog of Alexei Navalny (centre), which is fiercely opinionated and critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is one of the most read on the Russian-language Internet. The government's media watchdog has said that it was adding the blog to its list of banned sites.

MOSCOW - Top Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny on Friday vowed to keep up his fight against President Vladimir Putin as he was released from his latest jail term, a two-week stint for organising an illegal gathering.

The charismatic opposition leader also said he would pay a visit to the cemetery where outspoken activist Boris Nemtsov was buried after being gunned down last week near the Kremlin.

Because he was behind bars, Navalny was unable to attend the funeral of his friend or a massive rally on Sunday the two had originally planned together as a protest against the Kremlin's stance on the crisis in Ukraine.

However, the demonstration turned into a roughly 70,000 person-strong memorial march for the slain former deputy prime minister.

"We will continue our activities," said a visibly fatigued Navalny as he left prison.

Navalny, who built a large support base on the web before rallying tens of thousands against the ruling regime in 2011-2012 protests, has been the subject of a string of criminal charges.

His latest jail term came after he was arrested for handing out flyers in the Moscow subway advertising the March 1 demonstration, which a judge said was a repeat offence.

The Kremlin has cracked down on dissent since Putin was elected to a third term in 2012, severely tightening regulations on public gatherings after the wave of popular anti-Putin protests in which Navalny played a central role.

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