Speed Reads

Punishment and Punishment

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny ruled guilty, barring him from 2018 race

On Wednesday morning, a court in Kirov, Russia, declared Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny guilty in a retrial of a 2013 fraud case. Judge Alexei Vtyurin said Navalny is guilty of leading a group that embezzled $500,000 worth of timber when he worked as an adviser to Kirov's governor. Navalny denied the charges and called them politically motivated, and the Russian Supreme Court ordered a retrial after the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Navalny did not receive a fair trial.

In 2013, Navalny was given a five-year suspended sentence, but the new guilty verdict alone bars him from running for president in 2018. He has already announced his candidacy and was raising money. Russian President Vladimir Putin has not said if he will seek another six-year term. Navalny rose to prominence in 2008 as an anticorruption blogger, and he was a main force behind the antigovernment protests in 2011 and 2012. Another protest organizer, Vladimir Kara-Murza, is in a coma after apparently being poisoned in Moscow last week.