Jailed Russian businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky has announced that he intends to stand for parliament. In a statement on his website, the former Yukos chief said he would contest a seat in a Moscow district, in a by-election later this year.
Under Russian law, he is able to stand for parliament while his appeal is pending.
In a statement, he said he was running for the "right... to say publicly [that] the current Kremlin regime has exhausted itself and its days are trickling away".
Correspondents say that there is little sympathy for former oligarchs like Khodorkovsky among most ordinary Russians, with whom Mr Putin remains very popular.
Based in London, we are an informal group dedicated to supporting democracy and human rights throughout
the former Soviet Union. Our aims are:
Informing the public about issues in this area that receive little coverage in the Western media.
Staging peaceful demonstrations and letter-writing campaigns in support of specific causes.
Supporting and publicising nonviolent pro-democracy groups throughout the region.
Encouraging European and American involvement.
Support the Belarusian cartoonists
Third Way, the Belarusian organisation whose members are being prosecuted for producing satirical cartoons about Lukashenka,
have set up a web page where you can make a donation via PayPal. The group urgently
need money for their legal defence and operating expenses. Please give what you can today! Read more
We are continuing to focus our efforts on the Belarusian prisoner of conscience Mikhail Marinich.
We are campaigning for him to receive proper medical treatment, to be permitted to see his family,
and ultimately to be released from prison pending a review of his case. You can help by distributing
our factsheets and letters.
Members of these groups have joined our blog to share their views and experiences.