Russian protest leader and blogger Alexei Navalny has been released from prison, after spending more than two weeks behind bars.
The 35-year-old was arrested after joining a protest rally against Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his party, in the wake of parliamentary elections and in the run up to the presidential poll.
Speaking to the media after being freed, Navalny remained defiant. He called on Russians to unite against Putin.
“Our strategy for the parliamentary elections was to vote for any party but against the party of swindlers and thieves,” Navalny said.
“Now the party of swindlers and thieves is nominating its chief swindler and thief for president. Naturally, we need to vote against him, to fight against him.”
Thousands of people took to the streets to protest after the parliamentary elections earlier this month.
Campaigners claim the vote was unfair and rigged in favour of Putin’s United Russia party.
Around 50,000 people took part in one demonstration near the Kremlin.
Further action is planned for Saturday and Navalny is expected to address the crowds.