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25 April, 2024
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Protests erupt worldwide over Navalny's death

Cities rally against Putin after Navalny's passing


Hundreds of demonstrators, many Russian expatriates, took to the streets in various cities globally on Friday to denounce the demise of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

As The Guardian reports, in numerous locations, including outside Russian embassies, protesters voiced their condemnation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom they hold responsible for Navalny's demise, brandishing signs labeling him a "killer" and demanding justice.

Navalny, Putin's most prominent domestic adversary, lost consciousness and passed away on Friday following a stroll at the Arctic penal colony where he was serving a lengthy sentence, as per authorities.

In Berlin, an estimated 500-600 individuals congregated along Unter den Linden boulevard, chanting in a blend of Russian, German, and English. Calls for "Putin to The Hague" resonated, referencing the international tribunal probing potential war crimes in Ukraine.

Police cordoned off the route between the Russian embassy and the gathering using barriers. "Alexei Navalny is the leader of the Russian opposition, and we always harbored hope in his name," remarked a Russian protester draped in a blue-and-white anti-war flag, identified only as Ilia.

In Lithuania, once under Moscow's rule but now a NATO and EU member, demonstrators laid flowers and candles by a portrait of Navalny. Lyusya Shtein, 26, a Pussy Riot member residing in Vilnius since 2022, lamented, "He was always with us, so it is all surreal. None of us yet understand what happened." Similar demonstrations unfolded in Rome, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Geneva, and The Hague.

Outside Russia's London embassy, over 100 protesters brandished placards denouncing Putin as a war criminal, while in Lisbon, hundreds held a solemn vigil. Pavel Elizarov, 28, a Russian residing in Portugal, hailed Navalny as "a symbol of freedom and hope."

Near the Russian embassy in Paris, around 100 demonstrators gathered, with Natalia Morozov describing Navalny as a beacon of hope. "It's hard for me to express my emotions because I'm really shaken," Morozov remarked. "Now we no longer have hope for the beautiful Russia of the future."

Across the Atlantic, at a vigil outside the Russian consulate in New York City, Violetta Soboleva, who volunteered for Navalny's 2017 presidential campaign, lamented the loss. "I really believe that he's the one and he can lead Russia to a better future," she expressed. "And now we've lost this future forever, and there is nothing we can do about it anymore, for right now."

Meanwhile, Navalny's wife, Yulia, attended a vigil in Munich, where she questioned her husband's demise, citing the government's deceptive practices. "Putin and his government...lie incessantly," she declared, emphasizing the need for accountability should Navalny's death be confirmed.

[With information sourced from The Guardian]

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