400 Detained

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(TheIndependentStar.com) – In a new brutal crackdown on any form of dissent, Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin has overseen the arrests of hundreds of protesters who dared to mourn publicly the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in a northern penal colony.

Over 400 individuals have been apprehended in Russia while commemorating the life of the country’s most crucial opposition figure.

According to the Russian authorities, Navalny died in prison last week at the age of 47, with critics immediately charging that his murder had been ordered by Putin himself.

This information comes from a human rights organization dedicated to tracking political detentions, cited by The Hill.

Russian officials disclosed last Friday that Navalny, who was serving a sentence of 19 years for charges of “extremism,” perished in a penal facility located within the Arctic Circle on the Yamal Peninsula.

He was transferred there in December after previously he had been in custody in another penal camp in the Moscow region.

The news of his demise ignited protests globally and within Russia.

Navalny, a persistent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, could have been a formidable challenger in the future.

OVD-Info, a rights group focusing on political arrests and providing legal assistance, reported that by Saturday night, 401 individuals had been detained across approximately three dozen Russian cities, as indicated by a tracking tool on their website.

The organization highlighted that over 200 of these detentions occurred in St. Petersburg, Russia’s second-largest city, as noted by the Associated Press (AP).

Among those arrested in St. Petersburg was Grigory Mikhnov-Voitenko, a clergyman of the Apostolic Orthodox Church, identified by the group.

He had previously declared his intention to conduct a memorial service for Navalny and was apprehended Saturday morning outside his residence.

The rights group also mentioned that the priest suffered a stroke and was subsequently hospitalized following his arrest.

The AP disclosed that, of those detained on Friday in St. Petersburg, 42 were mandated to spend one to six days in jail, while nine others received fines, according to statements from court officials.

The exact cause of Navalny’s death remains uncertain, with his associates claiming he was “murdered.”

The timing for the release of Navalny’s remains to his family by Russian authorities is still unclear.