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Feb 21, 2024, 9:07am EST
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UK announces Russian sanctions over Navalny death

Insights from The Moscow Times and Meduza

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Flowers, lights and portraits sit at the memorial site for Alexei Navalny at Carl Fredrik Reutersward's sculpture 'Non-Violence', at Anna Lindhs Place, in Malmo, Sweden February 20, 2024. Johan Nilsson/TT News Agency/via REUTERS
Johan Nilsson/TT News Agency/via REUTERS
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The News

The U.K. imposed sanctions on several Russian prison chiefs after the death of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, a day after France called for an independent probe into the activist’s death.

The move came as the U.S. announced it would also unveil sanctions targeting Russian officials after the 47-year-old critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin died on Friday at an Arctic penal colony.

The U.K. said it has frozen the assets of six prison bosses in charge of the colony where Navalny was serving a decades-long sentence widely believed to be politically motivated.

The cause of Navalny’s death has so far not been announced, but the politician’s supporters and several Western leaders have alleged that he was killed by the Kremlin.

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Other opposition leaders fear safety

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Source:  
The Moscow Times

Ilya Yashin, a Russian opposition politician jailed for opposing Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, said that he had only just learned of Navalny’s death and feared for his own safety. In a letter published in The Moscow Times, Yashin described the news as “unbearable,” saying he had no doubt Putin was responsible for Navalny’s death. State media propaganda that the Russian leader would be uninterested in carrying out such an assassination should be dismissed, he added, since Putin has ordered such killings before. “We shared a common cause and dedicated our lives to making Russia peaceful, free and happy,” Yashin wrote of Navalny. “I am behind bars, my life is in Putin’s hands, and it is in danger.”

Russia monitoring Navalny supporters who attend memorials

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Meduza

Police officers in Moscow have been ordered to carry out round-the-clock surveillance on memorials to Navalny, independent Russian news site Meduza reported. The Moscow Ministry of Internal Affairs has asked the city’s police department to identify anyone that lays flowers at a memorial for the political dissident, “in order to prevent possible offenses and identify persons violating public order,” Meduza noted, but the ministry denied the report and said no such command was issued. Dozens of people have been detained across the country for attending memorials and vigils for Navalny in recent days, including some in St. Petersburg who were taken to prisons more than 180 miles away from the city.

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