A Russian appeals judge on Wednesday suspended the sentence of anti-corruption crusader and blogger Aleksei Navalny, granting him freedom but also prohibiting him from traveling outside Moscow. Navalny, who had an unexpectedly strong showing in Moscow’s mayoral election last month, said that while he is happy to be spared jail, Wednesday’s verdict is “nothing to celebrate” since it hinders his political career. In case that many considered rigged, Navaly was sentenced in July on embezzlement charges, but he used a window of freedom during his appeals case to run for mayor—and he finished second, with 27 percent of the vote. Wednesday’s ruling seemed to indicate that the Kremlin is willing to let the opposition free—if they stop criticizing Putin, that is.
RELIEF Maxim Shemetov/Reuters