And in Moscow, Russian authorities raided the office of prominent anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny Thursday, confiscating election pamphlets ahead of campaign events scheduled for Saturday. The raid came as Navalny is set to be released from jail, after he was arrested in June for leading mass demonstrations in more than 100 Russian cities against government corruption. The June protests drew a harsh crackdown by Russian police, who beat demonstrators and arrested more than 1,000. Russian officials say Navalny’s arrest disqualifies his bid to challenge Vladimir Putin for the presidency. On Thursday, Navalny’s campaign chair vowed the candidate would fight on.
Nikolai Lyaskin: “Over the weekend, we plan to hold a major campaign event, which includes distributing our leaflets, holding pickets, displaying information about our campaign. And the authorities are trying to disrupt it. The authorities simply don’t want Alexei Navalny to campaign. But this will not stop us. No matter what, we will campaign.”