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The Daily Wire
Daily Wire
17 Feb 2024
Ryan Saavedra


NextImg:WATCH: Russia Arrests Hundreds, Including Priest, For Honoring Alexei Navalny Following Death

The Russian government arrested hundreds of people on Friday who had gathered at various tributes across the country for deceased Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Navalny, a frequent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was in prison after being convicted on charges of “extremism” and sentenced to 19 years. Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service said that Navalny felt sick after going on a walk, and soon after, lost consciousness and died.

Reuters reported that at least 340 people were arrested in dozens of cities across the country after they lit candles, sang hymns, and visited with each other. OVD-Info, which reports on freedom of assembly in Russia, said that the true number of those arrested could be far higher.

“In each police department there may be more detainees than in the published lists,” OVD-Info said. “We publish only the names of those people about whom we have reliable knowledge and whose names we can publish.”

The Moscow Times reported that the Russian government also arrested a priest in St. Petersburg after he announced that he would hold a memorial for Navalny.

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Navalny had been sentenced to prison in 2021 after returning to Moscow from Germany, where he was undergoing treatment for poisoning from a nerve agent that was blamed on the Kremlin. The Kremlin has denied any responsibility for his poisoning, but United States intelligence officials have said they believe Russia was responsible.

Navalny frequently faced criminal charges during his career in Russian politics, which he said were motivated because of his opposition to Putin. Navalny founded the Anti-Corruption Foundation, which was dissolved in Russia in 2021, to expose corruption by high-ranking Russian officials and challenge the United Russia Party’s control over the country’s political system.

Leif Le Mahieu contributed to this report.