Putin's political opponent Alexei Navalny

Reuters
Putin's political opponent Alexei Navalny

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President Vladimir Putin's chief political opponent walked free from a Russian court on Wednesday after it suspended his five-year sentence for theft, and said he could never be 'hounded' out of political life.

The conviction, however, will prevent Alexei Navalny, borne to prominence nearly two years ago by the biggest protests of Putin's 13-year rule, from seeking elected office for several years. He said he would appeal. (Reuters)

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