Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been released from prison, his spokesperson confirmed this morning.
Navalny, President Putin’s most prominent critic, had spent 30 days behind bars for violations of the country’s law on protesting.
He was locked up after calling for people to demonstrate in central Moscow after opposition candidates were excluded from next month’s local elections.
On his release from prison Navalny predicted that opposition to the president would grow.
“Now we see that lies and fraud are not enough for them. It’s not enough for them to ban candidates from an election. They deliberately want to arrest dozens and to beat up hundreds… This shows that there is no support for this regime. They feel this and they are afraid,” he said.
It comes amid some of the biggest anti-government demonstrations int he country for years. More than a dozen people face charges that could give them up to eight years in jail for their role in the protests. One was arrested after throwing an empty plastic bottle at police.
“I have no doubt that despite genuine acts of intimidation and terror that are happening now as random people are being arrested that this wave (of protests) will increase, and this regime will seriously regret what it has done,” Navalny said earlier.