NewsGlobal protests and arrests in Russia follow sudden death of opposition figure Alexei Navalny

Global protests and arrests in Russia follow sudden death of opposition figure Alexei Navalny

Thousands of people on the streets. Dozens arrested in Moscow.
Thousands of people on the streets. Dozens arrested in Moscow.
Images source: © SOTAVision

3:46 PM EST, February 16, 2024

On Friday, Russian prison services announced that Alexei Navalny "expired suddenly in a penal colony beyond the Arctic Circle in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District, in the Far North". Navalny was said to have "fallen ill" and "lost consciousness. Despite calls for emergency medical services and resuscitation efforts, the opposition figure couldn't be saved," according to prison services.

Rallies sweep across European cities

In response to Navalny's death, thousands of individuals across the world have taken to the streets in protest.

Demonstrations were held in several cities, including Warsaw, where around 100 people assembled before the Russian embassy.

Following the news of Navalny's death, demonstrations began outside the Russian embassy in Berlin. By noon Eastern time, over a thousand individuals had gathered, with police securing the embassy area on Unter den Linden Boulevard, the Berliner Zeitung (BZ) daily's portal reported.

About five hundred people paid tribute on Friday evening to the deceased leader of the Russian opposition, Alexei Navalny, in the centre of Vilnius near the Museum of Occupation and Freedom Struggles, holding lit torches on their cell phones.

A memorial dedicated to Navalny was erected near the Russian embassy in Prague. Numerous individuals, including Czechs, Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians, brought flowers and lit candles there. A picture of Navalny captioned in Russian, "We will not forget, and we will not forgive," was strung to a tree before the embassy complex. Calls for the release of political prisoners in Russia also surfaced.

In Tallinn, Estonia's capital, a group of several dozen people protested outside the Russian embassy against Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin. They accused him of murdering opposition leader Alexei Navalny, with banners reading, "Putin is a murderer, he killed Navalny."

Arrests in Russia amid protests

Approximately 40 people were arrested on Friday in Saint Petersburg, Moscow, and Nizhny Novgorod during attempts to commemorate Navalny, who, according to sources linked to the Kremlin, died the same day in prison. The independent Russian media reported this.

In Saint Petersburg, a protest action at the monument to the victims of political repression was dispersed by the police, as reported by the independent portal Novaya Gazeta. More than 20 individuals were detained, including a journalist associated with the portal.

Similarly, in Moscow, at least eight individuals were detained at the monument to the victims of political repression, according to the Russian portal OVD-Info.

The opposition media also reported several protester arrests in Nizhny Novgorod.

On a large scale, people across various Russian cities laid flowers at the monuments to the victims of political repression on Friday, paying their respects to Navalny.

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