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Arrests, international criticism follow Navalny’s death

Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny during a march in 2019. Associated Press/Photo by Pavel Golovkin

Arrests, international criticism follow Navalny’s death

Authorities arrested hundreds of mourners paying tribute to Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, according to Russian human rights group OVD-Info. World leaders outside of Russia criticized the Kremlin for Navalny’s death, with U.S. President Joe Biden saying, “The fact of the matter is, Putin is responsible.” In a video posted on social media, Biden said that Navalany “was so many things that Putin was not.”

What happened to Navalny? The Russian Federal Prison Service on Friday said that Navalny, 47, felt unwell after a walk that morning, lost consciousness, and died despite attempts to revive him. Russian authorities in December moved him from a prison in central Russia to the penal colony about 1,200 miles northeast of Moscow. A Russian court in August sentenced him to 19 years in prison on extremism charges. On Saturday, Navalny’s legal team said that he was “murdered” and accused officials of deliberately stalling the release of his body.

Why was he put in prison? Navalny was a vocal critic of Russian leader Vladimir Putin and wrote online about alleged corruption in the government. He also organized anti-Kremlin protests and ran for public office. Russian authorities arrested Navalny in January 2021 when he returned to Moscow from Germany, where he recuperated after being poisoned with a nerve agent. Russian courts gave him three prison sentences, all of which he said were politically motivated. Most recently, Navalny urged his supporters on social media to vote against Putin in the upcoming March election.

Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read Jenny Lind Schmitt’s report in WORLD Magazine about how Christians responded to protests against Putin in 2021.

Lauren Canterberry

Lauren Canterberry is a reporter for WORLD. She graduated from the World Journalism Institute and the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism, both in 2017. She worked as a local reporter in Texas and now lives in Georgia with her husband.

Josh Schumacher

Josh is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. He’s a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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