Alexey Navalny, the activist and lawyer sentenced to five years in prison by a Russian judge just yesterday, has been released pending his appeal, opening the door for him to become Moscow's next mayor. The surprising, if temporary, reversal was mostly likely intended to quell demonstrations like the one that took over central Moscow last night in protest of the verdict. Around 200 supporters of Navalny were detained by police during an "unauthorized" rally on Thursday, though they have all reportedly been released, as well.
Russian news services also published some great pictures of his happier day in court today.
Даже если это временно, давайте используем время, чтобы потрепать жуликов. Мы их и из судебного 'аквариума' видим pic.twitter.com/ppCBLmDEEe— Alexey Navalny (@navalny) July 19, 2013
Navalny has not said whether he will re-join the mayoral race, but he did appear to suggest that he would in a tweet sent after his release, saying "We had a breather and now back to work. Campaigning, stands, leaflets – this is what we need. A campaign doesn’t run itself," Navalny is not allowed to leave Moscow as condition of his probation, but the court ruled that he is still eligible to run while his case is under appeal. The vote will be in September.