Alexei Navalny: More than 400 detainees as Russia mourns

More than 400 people were arrested in Russia while being honored Opposition leader Alexei Navalnywho died in a remote penal colony in the Arctic, a prominent rights group said on Sunday.

The sudden death of Navalny (47 years old) was a devastating blow to many Russians, who pinned their hopes for the future on President Vladimir Putin's sworn enemy. Navalny He remained frank in his ongoing criticism of the Kremlin Even after surviving nerve agent poisoning and receiving several prison sentences.

The news resonated around the world, with many world leaders blaming the death of President Vladimir Putin and his government. In an interview with reporters shortly after leaving a church service on Saturday, President Joe Biden reiterated his position that Putin is ultimately responsible for Navalny's death. “The fact of the matter is that Putin is responsible. Whether he ordered it, he is responsible for the circumstances,” Biden said. “It is a reflection of who he is. “This cannot be tolerated.”

Meanwhile, Navalny's wife, Yulia Navalnaya, posted a photo of the couple on Instagram on Sunday in her first social media post since her husband's death. The caption was simply: “I love you.” Hundreds of people in dozens of Russian cities flocked to memorials and monuments to victims of political repression with flowers and candles on Friday and Saturday to honor the politician. In more than a dozen cities, police had arrested 401 people by Saturday night, according to OVD-Info, a rights group that tracks political arrests and provides legal assistance.

The group said more than 200 people were arrested in St. Petersburg, Russia's second-largest city. Among those arrested was Grigory Mikhnov-Voytenko, a priest of the Apostolic Orthodox Church — a religious group independent of the Russian Orthodox Church — who announced plans on social media to hold a memorial service for Navalny and was arrested Saturday morning outside his home. . The man was accused of organizing a march and placed in a holding cell at a police station, but was later hospitalized due to a stroke, OVD-Info reported.

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Courts in St. Petersburg ordered 42 of those arrested on Friday to spend one to six days in prison while nine others were fined, judicial officials said late Saturday. In Moscow, at least six people were sentenced to spend 15 days in prison, according to OVD-Info. The group said that one person was also imprisoned in the southern city of Krasnodar and two others in the city of Bryansk.

News of Navalny's death came a month ago Presidential elections in Russia It is widely expected to give President Vladimir Putin another six years in power.

Questions remained about the cause of death, and it was not clear when the authorities would release Navalny's body. OVD-Info said on Sunday that more than 12,000 people had submitted requests to the Russian government demanding that the politician's remains be handed over to his relatives.

Navalny's team said on Saturday that the politician had been “murdered” and accused the authorities of deliberately obstructing the release of the body, as Navalny's mother and his lawyers received contradictory information from the various institutions they went to in their quest to recover the body. “They are driving us in circles and covering their tracks,” Kira Yarmysh, Navalny’s spokeswoman, said on Saturday.

“Everything there is covered by cameras in the colony. His every step has been filmed from all angles for all these years. Every employee has a video recorder. Not a single video has been leaked or published in two days. Leonid Volkov, Navalny’s closest ally and strategist, said on Sunday: “There is no room for uncertainty here.”

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A note delivered to Navalny's mother said he died at 2:17 p.m. Friday, according to Yarmysh. Prison officials told his mother when she arrived at the penal colony on Saturday that her son died of “sudden death syndrome,” Ivan Zhdanov, director of Navalny’s anti-corruption foundation, wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Russia's Federal Penitentiary Service said Navalny felt ill after walking on Friday and lost consciousness in a punishment colony in the town of Kharp, in the Yamalo-Nenets region about 1,900 kilometers (1,200 miles) northeast of Moscow. An ambulance arrived, but he could not be resuscitated, the service said, adding that the cause of death was still “determined”.

It was Navalny Imprisoned since January 2021When he returned to Moscow after recovering in Germany from nerve agent poisoning, he blamed the Kremlin. He has received three prison sentences since his arrest, on a number of charges that he rejected as politically motivated.

After the recent ruling, which sentenced him to 19 years in prison, Navalny said he understood that he was “serving a life sentence, which is measured by the length of my life or the length of this regime.”

Hours after Navalny's death was announced, his wife, Yulia Navalnaya, announced: Create a dramatic look At the Munich Security Conference

She said she wasn't sure if she could believe the news from official Russian sources, “but if it's true, I want Putin and everyone around Putin, Putin's friends, and his government to know that they will be held accountable for what they did to our country.” “For my family and my husband.”

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