Russian opposition leaders Alexei Navalny and Sergei Udaltsov have both been freed after more than two weeks in jail.
Both men were arrested for disobeying police orders during the protests that accompanied the inauguration of President Vladimir Putin. Speaking to his supporters outside the jail Navalny took a defiant tone, referring to to the jail as a “wonderful, hospitable building.” He said he would not be intimidated, and vowed to go back 20 more times if necessary.
A day earlier Russia’s lower house had given preliminary approval to a bill increasing fines for those taking part in unsanctioned protests 200-fold. Referring to this he told his supporters:
“We will be able to raise the money for everyone who will be fined, and in any case, if this law is adopted, many more people would be coming to legal rallies, and those who face attempted detention during any sort of unsanctioned protests will only resist more ferociously.”