Breaking news: although at first detained immediately after the trial, Alexei Navalny has been released on his own recognizance (he cannot travel outside Russia) pending appeals. The government won’t admit it, but likely the outpouring of citizens into the streets, over 7,000 in a spontaneous rally for example, may have been a factor in the decision. World opinion coming into the Kremlin hasn’t been complimentary either.
Co-defendant Pyotr Ofitserov was also released pending appeals and in even more surprising news, Moscow’s Rain TV is reporting that the judge has ruled that Navalny can stand for election in Moscow’s mayoral race during the appeals process.
A current poll of Rain TV viewers shows that almost 40% of those surveyed so far believe that the decision to allow Navalny to participate in the mayoral election stems from a desire to make the re-election of Sergei Sobyanin appear legitimate. (This poll is still running and results could change.)