Russian opposition leader Navalny to campaign despite ban

Alexei Navalny's campaign chief says Russia's popular opposition leader will keep campaigning for authorities to cancel an election ban.

Navalny organized nationwide anti-corruption protests last month and was arrested immediately after arriving at the rally in Moscow. He plans to run against President Vladimir Putin in the 2018 presidential election. Navalny's February conviction in a retrial of a fraud case formally has barred him from running for president.

Navalny campaign chief Leonid Volkov told The Associated Press on Thursday the immediate goal of Navalny's campaign is to get the Kremlin to overturn the election ban by showing authorities that the damage from not allowing Navalny to run is greater than the risks of putting him on the ballot.

The anti-corruption rallies organized by Navalny on March 26 were Russia's largest in years.