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The announcement of his return came two days after Russia’s prison authority petitioned a court to imprison Mr. Navalny for what it said was violating the terms of an earlier suspended prison sentence.

Remarks: “They are doing everything they can to scare me,” Mr. Navalny said of the Russian authorities in an Instagram post. “But I don’t much care about what they are doing. Russia is my country, Moscow is my city, and I miss them.”

Analysis: “The Kremlin has gone so far in its game of raising the stakes, sharply increasing expectations that Navalny will be arrested, that not arresting him will be seen by conservatives and security officials as a show of weakness,” Tatiana Stanovaya, of the Carnegie Moscow Center, said. “They expected that he would not return.”

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