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Leading Russian rights activist says Navalny's release on bail heralds a new era

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Leading Russian rights activist says Navalny's release on bail heralds a new era

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Human rights activist Lyudmila Alexeyeva believes Kremlin critic Aleksey Navalny’s popularity could take him all the way to the Russian presidency in 2018.

Speaking about the protests that followed his conviction on embezzlement charges, Alexeyeva said:

“In our country for the first time after the reading of a verdict, people took to the streets not just in Moscow and St. Petersburg, but in many other cities. This is the first time in our history. This has never happened before.”

Many are shocked by what they see as the Russian authorities backing down in the face of protest.

Several analysts have said Russia’s uneven approach to Navalny – sentenced on Thursday, bailed on Friday – could reveal power struggles within the government.