Alexei Navalny sent to jail for 20 days before Russian rally


The sentence means he will miss a protest on Putin's birthday Saturday in the president's hometown of St. Petersburg. The authorities said he did not have permission to organise such events. Russian Federation votes in March in a curious election: Incumbent Vladimir Putin is yet to confirm he will seek another term, while Navalny says he intends to compete although his recent jail sentences mean that officially he is ineligible.

Mr. Navalny was detained by police officers on Friday as he left his Moscow apartment to attend a rally in Nizhny Novgorod, a city 260 miles east of Moscow, the capital.

Huntsman, whose nomination was approved by the Senate on Thursday in a voice vote, has said there is no question that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 USA campaign, putting him at odds with Trump, who has downplayed that charge.

A close associate, Leonid Volkov, was also jailed for 20 days and threatened to go on hunger strike.

In court Navalny called the sentence a birthday gift for Putin.

Navalny has been jailed twice already this year after organising rallies and protests against government corruption.

The Kremlin warned Navalny's supporters to refrain from holding any unsanctioned rallies in his absence.

Under Russian law, calling and organizing a public gathering like a rally without obtaining authorization can carry a jail sentence of up to 30 days.

The Kremlin has dismissed Navalny, who has faced repeated jailings and criminal cases, as an urbanite out of touch with people living in Russia's 11 time zones where Putin draws his support from. It was widely seen as a politically ordered judgment.