Over 400 detained in Russia as nation mourns the loss of life of Alexei Navalny, Putin’s fiercest foe | EUROtoday

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Over 400 folks had been detained in Russia whereas paying tribute to opposition chief Alexei Navalny, who died at a distant Arctic penal colony, a outstanding rights group reported.

The sudden loss of life of Navalny, 47, was a crushing blow to many Russians, who had pinned their hopes for the long run on President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest foe. Navalny remained vocal in his unrelenting criticism of the Kremlin even after surviving a nerve agent poisoning and receiving a number of jail phrases.

The information reverberated throughout the globe, and a whole lot of individuals in dozens of Russian cities streamed to ad-hoc memorials and monuments to victims of political repressions with flowers and candles on Friday and Saturday to pay a tribute to the politician. In over a dozen cities, police detained 401 folks by Saturday evening, in accordance with the OVD-Info rights group that tracks political arrests and supplies authorized help.

More than 200 arrests had been made in St. Petersburg, Russia’s second largest metropolis, the group stated. Among these detained there was Grigory Mikhnov-Voitenko, a priest of the Apostolic Orthodox Church — a non secular group unbiased of the Russian Orthodox Church — who introduced plans on social media to carry a memorial service for Navalny and was arrested on Saturday morning outdoors his dwelling. He was charged with organizing a rally and positioned in a holding cell in a police precinct, however was later hospitalised with a stroke, OVD-Info reported.

Courts in St. Petersburg have ordered 42 of these detained on Friday to serve from one to 6 days in jail, whereas 9 others had been fined, court docket officers stated late on Saturday. In Moscow, not less than six folks had been ordered to serve 15 days in jail, in accordance with OVD-Info. One particular person was additionally jailed within the southern metropolis of Krasnodar and two extra within the metropolis of Bryansk, the group stated.

The information of Navalny’s loss of life got here a month earlier than a presidential election in Russia that’s broadly anticipated to offer President Vladimir Putin one other six years in energy. Questions about the reason for loss of life lingered on Sunday, and it remained unclear when the authorities would launch his physique to his household.

Navalny’s crew stated Saturday that the politician was “murdered” and accused the authorities of intentionally stalling the discharge of the physique, with Navalny’s mom and legal professionals getting contradicting info from varied establishments the place they went of their quest to retrieve the physique. “They’re driving us around in circles and covering their tracks,” Navalny’s spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh, stated on Saturday.

“Everything there is covered with cameras in the colony. Every step he took was filmed from all angles all these years. Each employee has a video recorder. In two days, there has been not a single video leaked or published. There is no room for uncertainty here,” Navalny’s closest ally and strategist Leonid Volkov stated Sunday.

A observe handed to Navalny’s mom said that he died at 2:17 p.m. Friday, in accordance with Yarmysh. Prison officers informed his mom when she arrived on the penal colony Saturday that her son had perished from “sudden death syndrome,” Ivan Zhdanov, the director of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, wrote on X, previously often known as Twitter.

Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service reported that Navalny felt sick after a stroll Friday and have become unconscious on the penal colony within the city of Kharp, within the Yamalo-Nenets area about 1,900 kilometers (1,200 miles) northeast of Moscow. An ambulance arrived, however he couldn’t be revived, the service stated, including that the reason for loss of life continues to be “being established.”

Navalny had been jailed since January 2021, when he returned to Moscow after recuperating in Germany from nerve agent poisoning he blamed on the Kremlin. He has acquired three jail phrases since his arrest, on quite a few costs he has rejected as politically motivated.

After the final verdict that handed him a 19-year time period, Navalny stated he understood he was “serving a life sentence, which is measured by the length of my life or the length of life of this regime.”

Hours after Navalny’s loss of life was reported, his spouse, Yulia Navalnaya, made a dramatic look on the Munich Security Conference.

She stated she was not sure if she might imagine the information from official Russian sources, “but if this is true, I want Putin and everyone around Putin, Putin’s friends, his government to know that they will bear responsibility for what they did to our country, to my family and to my husband.”