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Navalny’s Death Reverberates Around the World 

A man holds a photo of Alexey Navalny at a rally on Feb. 18, 2024, in front of the Russian embassy in Berlin, Germany, following news of the death of the Kremlin's most prominent critic in an Arctic prison.
A man holds a photo of Alexey Navalny at a rally on Feb. 18, 2024, in front of the Russian embassy in Berlin, Germany, following news of the death of the Kremlin's most prominent critic in an Arctic prison.

U.S. Ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy visited a makeshift shrine to Alexey Navalny in Moscow Sunday, to pay tribute to the late Russian opposition leader, who died at a remote Arctic penal colony Friday.

"Today at the Solovetsky Stone we mourn the death of Alexey Navalny and other victims of political repression in Russia. We extend our deepest condolences to Alexey Navalny's family, colleagues and supporters. His strength is an inspiring example. We honor his memory," the U.S. Embassy in Moscow said in a statement on social media X. The U.S. ambassador was pictured saying flowers in front of the Solovetsky Stone in Moscow, a memorial against political repression that has become a major site of tributes for Navalny.

At a separate makeshift memorial known as the "Wall of Grief," a Moscow bronze monument dedicated to Soviet-era repression, police have set up fences in a bid to ward off mourners.

Several dozen police officers were seen standing nearby, but some people were allowed to enter through the fence and lay flowers according to an AFP reporter on the scene.

Russian authorities are suppressing tributes and vigils to the late opposition leader. Rights groups say police have detained hundreds of people streaming to ad hoc memorials and monuments in dozens of Russian cities to mourn the late politician.

Dozens of those detained have been sentenced with up to 15 days in prison while others were fined, court officials said Saturday.

Watch related report by Arash Arabasadi:

Russian Authorities Detain Mourners Paying Tribute to Navalny
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"I love you," Navalny's widow, Yulia Navalnaya, posted on social media Sunday, beside a picture of them together.

The post on Instagram showed a picture of their heads touching as they watched a performance of some kind.

The sudden death of Navalny, 47, has dealt a crushing blow to many Russians who had pinned their hopes for the future on President Vladimir Putin's fiercest foe. Navalny remained vocal in his unrelenting criticism of the Kremlin even after surviving nerve agent poisoning and receiving multiple prison terms.

After the last verdict that handed him a 19-year term, Navalny said he understood he was "serving a life sentence, which is measured by the length of my life or the length of life of this regime."

The news of Navalny's death came a month before a presidential election in Russia that is widely expected to give Putin another six years in power and has reverberated around the globe.

Western leaders led by U.S. President Joe Biden paid tribute to Navalny's courage and, without citing evidence, accused Putin of being responsible for his death.

Britain said there would be consequences for Russia.

During an interview on ABC’s This Week, Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley put the blame on Navalny’s death squarely on the Russian president and called the late opposition leader “a hero.” “He was fighting corruption, he was fighting what Putin does. And what did Putin do? He killed him. Just like he does all his political opponents,” she said, adding, “This goes back to the fact that we need to remind the American people that Vladimir Putin is not our friend. Vladimir Putin is not cool…. This is not someone we can trust.”

Haley called, “bone chilling,” presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s comments at a rally in South Carolina last week that, as she put it, “He would encourage Putin to invade our allies if they weren’t pulling their weight.”

So far Trump has not commented directly about the death of the Russian opposition leader.

The Kremlin called the West’s reaction unacceptable and "absolutely rabid." Putin has not commented yet on Navalny's death.

Questions about the cause of his death lingered Sunday. Navalny's team said Saturday that the politician was "murdered" and accused the authorities of deliberately stalling the release of the body.

Navalny's mother and lawyers are receiving contradicting information from various institutions that they went to in their quest to retrieve Navalny’s body. "They're driving us around in circles and covering their tracks," Navalny's spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh, said Saturday.

"Everything there is covered with cameras in the colony. Every step he took was filmed from all angles all these years. Each employee has a video recorder. In two days, there has been not a single video leaked or published. There is no room for uncertainty here," Navalny's closest ally and strategist, Leonid Volkov, said Sunday.

Russia's Federal Penitentiary Service reported that Navalny felt sick after a walk Friday and became unconscious at the penal colony in the town of Kharp, in the Yamalo-Nenets region about 1,900 kilometers northeast of Moscow. An ambulance arrived, but he couldn't be revived, the service said, adding that the cause of death is still "being established."

Hours after Navalny's death was reported, Yulia Navalnaya made a dramatic appearance at the Munich Security Conference.

Navalnaya said she was unsure if she could believe the news from official Russian sources, "but if this is true, I want Putin and everyone around Putin, Putin's friends, his government to know that they will bear responsibility for what they did to our country, to my family and to my husband."

Navalnaya urged the international community to fight Putin's "horrific regime."

Some information for this story came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.

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