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Russian opposition leader and Putin critic arrested immediately after leaving prison

Russian police officers detain opposition leader Alexei Navalny on Monday outside the detention centre in Moscow. Navalny was detained after serving a 30-day sentence for an unauthorized protest, his spokesman said. (Vasily Maximov/AFP/Getty Images)

Russian opposition leader and prominent Putin critic Alexei Navalny was arrested as soon as he was released from prison.

Kira Yarmysh, a spokesperson for Navalny, released a statement on Twitter that said: “Alexei Navalny was detained outside the detention centre.” Yarmysh said that this latest arrest for Navalny was also for violating protest laws. Navalny could face a fine or 20 days in jail.

What happened?

Navalny had just finished serving a 30-day sentence for an August arrest.

Navalny was arrested on Aug. 25 and convicted two days later of breaking the law with his involvement in a Jan. 28 rally in Moscow. That rally protested the government's plan to raise to retirement age from 60 to 65 for men and from 55 to 63 for women.

The rally also called for the boycott of that year's presidential election in March.

Although Russian election results themselves are skewed in favor of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his allies, Putin likes to boast about the high voter turnout. A boycott of the election would rob him of that.

Navalny was also barred from running in the presidential election. With no real opposition, Putin won with nearly 77 percent of the vote.

Why was Navalny previously arrested?

This is Navalny's third time in prison this year alone. On May 15, Navalny was jailed for 30 days for helping to organize a May 5 protest against Putin's government. It is against Russian law to organize a protest without government approval, but the government often rejects applications for rally permits in places like Moscow. Instead, they often suggest more remote locations.

Navalny had accused the Russian government of arresting him in August to try to prevent a Sept. 9 protest he was involved in organizing. Despite Navalny's arrest, thousands of people showed up to that protest, and 150 of these protesters were arrested.

In addition to organizing protests, Navalny has been publishing evidence of alleged Russian government corruption online. He has blamed Putin's government for "sucking the blood out of Russia" and of being full of "crooks and thieves."

One last thing…
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