Freed Kremlin critic Navalny cheered by supporters in Moscow
Hundreds of supporters of Alexei Navalny gathered at a Moscow rail station Saturday to cheer the Russian opposition leader as a national hero following his surprise release from jail, dpa reported.
The 37-year-old lawyer was greeted with loud cheers, chants and bouquets on his arrival from the city of Kirov.
"We are a strong people's movement. I did not think that we were so strong," said Navalny, who was accompanied by his wife Julia.
He also confirmed that we would contest the Moscow mayoral election on September 8.
"We will win in the election," he said.
The crowd responded: "Navalny is our mayor! Navalny! Nalavny!"
Police had cordoned off the Yaroslavsky station in the centre of Moscow and anti-terrorism units were on guard. Earlier, an anonymous caller had warned of a bomb in the station.
Navalny walked out of the regional court in Kirov on Friday after a judge ruled that his arrest the previous day, following sentencing on embezzlement charges by a district court, had no legal basis.
The ruling did not overturn the five-year prison sentence handed down Thursday, but it left observers puzzled about whether it reflected infighting between different factions in the Russian leadership.