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Aug 10, 9:01 AM EDT

Russian activist freed from prison vows to unite opposition

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MOSCOW (AP) -- A Russian activist released from prison says he will work to unite the opposition ranks.

But Sergei Udaltsov sounded lukewarm Thursday when asked about teaming up with Russia's most popular opposition leader, Alexei Navalny.

Udaltsov said Navalny, who has declared his intention to run for president in the March 2018 election, "is not my candidate," adding that he will not rally for him.

At the same time, Udaltsov pledged to work to unify the fractured leftist forces and push for them to field a single candidate in the presidential election.

Udaltsov, who served 4 years on charges related to his role in staging a May 2012 protest against President Vladimir Putin that turned violent, also called for protests this fall to mark the centennial of the 1917 Bolshevik revolution.

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