Thousands of protesters swarm Russian embassies after Biden says Putin IS responsible for ‘murder’ of Alexei Navalny

Thousands of protesters swarm Russian embassies after Biden says Putin IS responsible for ‘murder’ of Alexei Navalny

THOUSANDS of protesters swarmed Russian embassies to express their outrage over the death of Alexei Navalny.

Many chanted slogans critical of Vladimir Putin, whom they blamed for the activist’s death, holding up signs calling him a “killer” and demanding accountability.

RexHundreds of activists hold a vigil outside Russian embassy in London[/caption]

APPolice officers detain a woman who laid flowers for Alexei Navalny in St. Petersburg, Russia[/caption]

RexProtesters held placards in London that called Vladimir Putin a war criminal[/caption]

Putin visited a plant in Russia and smiled to himself as he makes the rounds

The last picture of Navalny behind bars in Russia – appearing via video link in court

SplashUnited States President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the death of Navalny[/caption]

Prison authorities said Navalny fell unconscious and died after a walk at the “Polar Wolf” Colony where he was serving a three-decade sentence.

Navalny, Putin’s leading domestic critic in Russia, had bravely challenged the tyrant’s rule and his horrific war in Ukraine.

And many of his supporters expressed fears that he would be assassinated while behind bars serving a 19-year sentence.

“Make no mistake, Putin is responsible for Navalny’s death,” US President Joe Biden said in remarks from the White House.

He added: “Even in prison he was a powerful voice for the truth.”

In Berlin, a crowd of around 500 to 600 people gathered on the city’s Unter den Linden boulevard chanting in a mixture of Russian, German and English.

Some shouted “Putin to the Hague”, referring to the international criminal court investigating possible war crimes committed in Ukraine.

Police used barriers to close off the road between the Russian embassy and the crowd.

Alexei Navalny is the leader of the Russian opposition and we always kept hope in his name,” said a Russian man draped in a blue-and-white anti-war flag, giving his name only as Ilia.

In Lithuania, formerly run from Moscow but now a member of NATO and the European Union, protesters placed flowers and candles by a portrait of Navalny.

“He was always with us, so it is all surreal,” said Lyusya Shtein, 26, a Pussy Riot activist who has lived in Vilnius since leaving Russia in 2022.

“None of us yet understand what happened,” she added.

In Russia itself, prosecutors warned Russians against participating in any mass protest in Moscow.

Police watched as some Russians came to lay roses and carnations at a monument to victims of Soviet repression in the shadow of the former KGB headquarters.

Rights group OVD-Info, which reports on freedom of assembly in Russia, said that more than 100 people had been detained at rallies in memory of Navalny.

Groups also gathered in Rome, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Sofia, Geneva and The Hague.

More than 100 protesters stood outside Russia’s London embassy, holding placards that called Putin a war criminal.

While in Lisbon hundreds held a silent vigil.

Pavel Elizarov, a 28-year-old Russian living in Portugal, said Navalny had been “a symbol of freedom and hope.”

Near the Russian embassy in Paris, where around 100 protesters gathered, Natalia Morozov said Navalny had also been a symbol of hope for her.

What we know so far…

Officials at the ‘Polar Wolf’ jail where Navalny was held claim he collapsed during a walk outside and died

Ukraine’s Zelensky and Latvian president Rinkevics claim Putin murdered the Kremlin critic

The dad-of-two, aged just 47, had sent his wife a heartfelt Valentine’s letter days before his reported death

His mum Lyudmila said she saw Navalny a few days ago and he seemed healthy and cheerful

Navalny was last pictured appearing in court via video link – he looked thin and had a shaved head

The Kremlin enemy had spent 308 days locked up in Russia on trumped-up charges – including for extremism and terrorism

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said Putin should be ‘held accountable’

Navalny’s spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said she has had no official confirmation of his death – but a lawyer is investigating

Morozov said: “It’s hard for me to express my emotions, because I’m really shaken.

“Now we no longer have hope for the beautiful Russia of the future”.

Navalny’s wife, Yulia, was in Munich on Friday, where a vigil also took place.

She told the Munich Security Conference she could not be sure her husband was dead because “Putin and his government… lie incessantly”.

Yulia said that if confirmed she wanted them to know “they will bear responsibility”.

On the other side of the Atlantic, at a vigil outside the Russian consulate in New York City, Violetta Soboleva said she had volunteered for Navalny’s presidential campaign in 2017.

“I really believed that he’s the one and he can lead Russia to a better future,” said Soboleva, a Russian studying for her doctorate in New York.

She continued: “And now we’ve lost this future forever.”

APA woman holds flowers and a portrait of Navalny in front of the Russian embassy in Berlin, Germany[/caption]

Navalny in hospital with his wife Yulia at his bedside

GettyPeople gather in front of the Russian Embassy in Madrid, Spain[/caption]

APRussians and Poles gathered before the Russian Embassy in Warsaw, Poland[/caption]

APPeople place candles and flowers in Lisbon[/caption]

Putin’s opponents die in mysterious circumstances

By Nick Parker

TRAGIC Navalny is the latest in a long line of Putin opponents and rivals to die in mysterious circumstances.

His death came just six months after the Russian tyrant’s last public challenger – Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin – died in a fireball jet smash believed to have been caused by a bomb.

Warlord Prigozhin’s days were numbered after he launched a failed coup in which his troops turned on Moscow – and Putin is thought to have directly ordered the air “accident”.

Scores of political opponents, oligarchs and insubordinate business chiefs have met similar suspicious fates in recent years as paranoid Putin shored up his power base.

They include politician Boris Nemtsov, killed with six shots in the back and head in February 2015 on a Moscow bridge; top Russian journalist and Putin critic Anna Politkovskaya who was shot dead in an elevator in June 2014 and Alexander Litvinenko who died in agony in London after being poisoned with radioactive polonium tea in 2006.

Putin agents also attempted to kill Russian turncoat Sergei Skripal with Novichok after he fell foul of the Kremlin regime and fled to Salisbury, Wilts.

It comes after tyrant Putin was snapped smirking yesterday.

Putin appeared sickeningly cheerful as he greeted people mere hours later at a public event.

In a press conference, US President Biden had his say on the death of Navalny.

He said: “Make no mistake: Putin is responsible for Navalny’s death.”

“What has happened to Navalny is yet more proof of Putin’s brutality,” Biden continued.

“Putin does not only target the citizens of other countries. He also inflicts terrible crimes on his own people.”

Latvian president Edgars Rinkevics raged on X that Navalny was “brutally murdered by the Kremlin”.

And Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy raged: “Obviously, Putin killed him”.

Navalny, one of Putin’s greatest enemies, was locked away on trumped-up charges after a sham trial and has been vocal about his fears of assassination.

He was first picked up by Vlad’s brutal police in 2021 after returning to Russia following an assassination attempt.

In total he spent 308 days banged up – and there were reports that a sadistic Putin even demanded to see live footage of the 47-year-old undergoing punishment and being humiliated by guards. 

Navalny also went missing from a hellish Russian jail last year – and his supporters warned at the time that he could be executed.

He was later found in one of the toughest prisons in the country in Siberia – known as “the Polar Wolf” colony.

Prison chiefs said his death was confirmed at 2.17pm local time but confusion has clouded the shock news.

Navalny’s legal team had received no formal confirmation of his death and his frantic family are still seeking proof that the reports are not more Kremlin lies.

Exiled Russian politician Dmitry Gudkov has fumed that even if Putin did not have Navalny assassinated – his death would still be the tyrant’s fault.

“Even if Alexey died from ‘natural’ causes, they were caused by his poisoning and further prison torture. Blood is on Putin,” he fumed.

A statement from prison officials today read: “On February 16, 2024, in correctional colony No. 3, convict Navalny A.A. felt unwell after a walk, almost immediately losing consciousness.”

An ambulance reached the brutal jail in just seven minutes – getting to Navalny’s side in another two, Interfax reported.

“The doctors who arrived at the scene continued the resuscitation measures that were already being provided by the penal colony’s doctors,” said the local hospital.

“And they spent more than half an hour. However, the patient died.”

He was seen for the last time in court – via video link.

His head was shaved and he looked thin – but appeared to be keeping positive and even made some jokes.

GettyFlowers and signs are placed outside the Russian Consulate for Navalny[/caption]

ReutersNavalny was locked up on bogus charges at the ‘Polar Wolf’ Colony[/caption]

Putin visits the Forge-and-Press Plant in Chelyabinsk

APA woman lights a candle in Sofia, Bulgaria[/caption]

AFPProtesters stood outside the Russian embassy in Prague[/caption]

APA poster with a portrait of Navalny with words reading ‘Alexei Navalny killed by the fascist regime’[/caption]

ReutersPeople gather at the monument to the victims of political repressions in Saint Petersburg[/caption]

The life of Alexei Navalny, Putin’s biggest critic

HERE is a timeline that shows how the leader of the opposition went from the face of freedom in Russia and the Kremlin’s biggest foe to a hellhole Siberian prison – and possibly an early grave.

June 4, 1976 — Navalny is born in a western part of the Moscow region
1997 — Graduates from Russia’s RUDN university, where he majored in law
2004 — Forms a movement against rampant over-development in Moscow
2008 — Gains notoriety for calling out corruption in state-run corporation
December 2011 — Participates in mass protests sparked by reports of widespread rigging of Russia’s election, and is arrested and jailed for 15 days for “defying a government official”
March 2012 – Further mass protests break out and Navalny accuses key Kremlin cronies of corruption
July 2012 — Russia’s Investigative Committee charges Navalny with embezzlement. He rejects the claims and says they are politically motivated
2013 — Navalny runs for mayor in Moscow
July 2013 — A court in Kirov convicts Navalny of embezzlement in the Kirovles case, sentencing him to five years in prison – he appeals and is allowed to continue campaign
September 2013 — Official results show Navalny finishes second in the mayor’s race
February 2014 — Navalny is placed under house arrest
December 2014 — Navalny and his brother, Oleg, are found guilty of fraud
February 2016 — The European Court of Human Rights rules that Russia violated Navalny’s right to a fair trial
November 2016 — Russia’s Supreme Court overturns Navalny’s sentence
December 2016 — Navalny announces he will run in Russia’s 2018 presidential election
February 2017 — The Kirov court retries Navalny and upholds his five-year suspended sentence from 2013
April 2017 – Survives an assassination attempt he blames on Kremlin
December 2017 — Russia’s Central Electoral Commission bars him from running for president
August, 2020 – Navalny falls into a coma on a flight and his team suspects he was poisoned. German authorities confirm he was poisoned with a Soviet-era nerve agent
Jan 2021 — After five months in Germany, Navalny is arrested upon his return to Russia
Feb 2021 — A Moscow court orders Navalny to serve 2 ½ years in prison
June 2021 — A Moscow court shuts down Navalny’s Foundation for Fighting Corruption and his extended political network
Feb 2022 — Russia invades Ukraine
March 2022 — Navalny is sentenced to an additional nine-year term for embezzlement and contempt of court
2023 — Over 400 Russian doctors sign an open letter to Putin, urging an end to what it calls abuse of Navalny, following reports that he was denied basic medication & suffering from slow poisoning
April, 2023 — Navalny from inside prison says he was facing new extremism and terrorism charges that could keep him behind bars for the rest of his life
Aug 2023 – A court in Russia extends Navalny’s prison sentence by 19 years
Dec 2023 – He disappears from his prison as his team fear he could be assassination. He then reappears weeks later in one of Siberia’s toughest prisons – the ‘Polar Wolf’ colony

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