Alexei Navalny
Alexei Navalnytwitter

Russian opposition leader and Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has challenged his house arrest by severing his ankle bracelet monitor and posting the picture on social media.

He said on his website that bracelet "took some effort, but has been cut off with kitchen scissors".

The anti-corruption blogger was convicted of fraud along with his brother Oleg. The two were handed a suspended three and a half year sentence for the alleged theft of 30m rubles (£317,743) from two firms, one of which is affiliated to the French cosmetics company Yves Rocher.

Navalny has maintained his innocence of all charges and said they were fabricated and politically motivated.

The Kremlin agitator is serving a five-year suspended sentence for another case concerning his part in the embezzlement of 16m roubles (£170,000) worth of timber from a state-owned company, while working as an adviser for the governor of the region four years ago.

House arrest was imposed because he repeatedly travelled outside Moscow in breach of sentencing conditions.

But Navalny rejected the house arrest conditions saying that "I'm the only person in the history of Russian trials to be under arrest after receiving a suspended sentence".

"I do not want to draw attention to myself, just to remove the bracelet which is illegal," he said.

The opposition leader was previously banned from using any communication devices and the internet. He has been confined to his apartment in Moscow since February.

He ran for mayor of Moscow last year and he won 27.2% of the vote.