Alexei Navalny Alexei Navalny

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, pictured here at Moscow's courthouse in May, was released from custody on Thursday. He said on Instagram that the prison where he was held for a month has been decked out for World Cup fans. Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images

Alexei Navalny takes a selfie with his supporters during a rally last month calling for a boycott of the presidential election in March, which he has been banned from running in. Alexandra Dalsbaek/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Alexandra Dalsbaek/AFP/Getty Images

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, center, heads to a meeting of the Russia's Central Election commission in December. Officials formally barred him Alexei Navalny from running for president in the March 18 election, which he says is a predetermined sham. Evgeny Feldman/AP hide caption

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Evgeny Feldman/AP

Banned From Election, Putin Foe Navalny Pursues Politics By Other Means

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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny delivers a speech during a meeting with his supporters in Moscow on Sunday. Navalny, seen as the only Russian opposition leader who stands a fighting chance of challenging strongman Vladimir Putin, was seeking to get his name on the ballot for a March vote, but on Monday an election commission voted to bar him from the election. Vasily Maximov/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Vasily Maximov/AFP/Getty Images

Anti-government protesters march in Novosibirsk, the capital of Siberia and Russia's third most populous city, with a banner reading "Corruption steals the future!" Lucian Kim/NPR hide caption

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Lucian Kim/NPR

Alexei Navalny is seen being detained by police outside his apartment in Moscow in this photo provided by the Navalny Anti Corruption Fund. AP hide caption

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AP

Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny Detained On Day Of Large Protests

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Alexei Navalny's YouTube show attracts a million views per episode. The Putin critic offers breezy commentary on the week's events, fields questions from his Twitter feed and heaps scorn on the Kremlin. Pavel Golovkin/AP hide caption

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Pavel Golovkin/AP

Banned From Russian TV, A Putin Critic Gets His Message Out On YouTube

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Thousands Of Russians Take To Streets In Biggest Anti-government Protests In Years

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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his brother Oleg Navalny (right) appear at Moscow's Zamoskvoretsky District Court on Tuesday for the announcement of a verdict in the Yves Rocher fraud case. Alexei Navalny was given a 3 1/2-year suspended sentence. His brother was sent to prison for the same period. Alexei Navalny was detained later Tuesday after breaking his house arrest. Mikhail Pochuyev/ITAR-TASS/Landov hide caption

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Mikhail Pochuyev/ITAR-TASS/Landov

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his wife, Yulia, look at a mobile phone Thursday during his trial in Kirov, Russia. A Russian judge found Navalny guilty of embezzlement. Dmitry Lovetsky/AP hide caption

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Dmitry Lovetsky/AP