Alexei Navalny, a top critic of President Vladimir Putin, prepares to cast his ballot at a polling station during a mayoral election in Moscow, on September 8, 2013. Navalny faced today a Kremlin-backed incumbent in a hotly contested Moscow mayoral poll, the first time an opposition leader has been allowed to stand in a high-profile election. AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOV
Russian protest leader Alexei Navalny with his wife Yulia attend an opposition rally in center of Moscow on October 27, 2013 in Moscow, Russia. Thousands of Russian opposition supporters marched through the Russian capital on Sunday protesting against President Vladimir Putin and calling for the release of people they cosider to be political prisoners.
Opposition leader Alexei Navalny (C) appears in court on July 18, 2013 in Kirov, Russia. Navalny was found guilty of embezzlement and sentenced to five years in prison. Many critics of the Russian government believe the conviction was politically motivated.