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Kremlin Critic Navalny Defies House Arrest to Join Protest

Anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny photographed on his way to a rally at Manezh Square, which he broke house arrest to attend.

Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny said he broke his house arrest on Tuesday to join an opposition rally in Moscow, hours after a Russian court sentenced him for embezzlement.

"Yes, there is this house arrest. But today I want to be with you. So I'm coming," Navalny said on his Twitter feed, posting a picture of himself in the Moscow metro.

A Russian court gave Navalny a suspended sentence on Tuesday for embezzling money but jailed his brother for three and a half years in a case seen as part of a campaign to stifle dissent.

Navalny's supporters will gather in front of the Kremlin later on Tuesday with some 18,000 people having registered on Facebook to attend, although the numbers may be smaller as people prepare to celebrate the New Year.

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