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Russian Anti-Corruption Blogger Appeals to Readers

Alexey Navalny, unofficial protest leader, took to his blog [ru] on March 27 to defend himself from what he says are unfair allegations of corruption. Navalny is currently a suspect in two different embezzlement investigations. One of these, the so-called KirovLes case, involves the supposed use of a shell company to steal several million rubles worth of materials from a Kirov Region lumber mill.

Navalny claims that there was no theft — the materials were purchased, and later resold for a profit. According to Navalny, he has no hope of convincing the authorities that he's not a criminal. Instead, he hopes to convince his sizable online audience. For that purpose, he has released for public download [ru] 2 gigabytes of financial documents pertaining to the case, so that anyone can ascertain his innocence on their own. It remains to be seen whether this move will make a difference in his coming trials.

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