Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny lost his appeal on Saturday against what he said was a politically motivated decision to jail him for nearly three years, but said his faith in God and belief in the rightness of his cause was sustaining him.
Russian police detained dozens of protesters on Saturday as supporters of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny took to the streets following his call to protest against President Vladimir Putin's rule.
Before he returned to Russia, opposition politician Alexei Navalny and his supporters had anticipated he would be arrested and planned to force the Kremlin to release him by staging repeated protests, a close ally has said.
Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny took off on a plane bound for Russia on Sunday, to return home for the first time since he was poisoned last summer, despite Russian authorities' stated desire to arrest him and potentially jail him for years.
Russian officials said on Friday that metabolic problems and pancreatitis caused Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny to fall ill in August, ruling out findings by European labs that he was poisoned with Novichok
Blood samples taken from Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny confirmed the presence of a nerve agent from the banned Novichok family, the global chemical weapons watchdog said on Tuesday.
Germany expects the European Union to impose new sanctions against Russia over the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny with an internationally banned nerve agent, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Saturday.
A Russian court on Monday ordered opposition leader Alexei Navalny and ally Lyubov Sobol to pay 88 million rubles ($1.4 million) in damages to a company controlled by a top Kremlin ally.
Russian police arrested more than 500 people on Saturday, including prominent activists, around a political protest in Moscow to demand that members of the opposition be allowed to run in a local election later this year.
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was arrested and faced up to 30 days in prison Wednesday, in an apparent move by the authorities to prevent a major protest rally this week.
Thousands of supporters of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny protested across Russia on Sunday against planned increases to the pension age, with a rights group saying at least 291 of them had been detained by the police.