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In Moscow, Russians honor the memory of Navalny, despite the arrests

Photo: Alexander Zemlianichenko Associated Press A woman places bouquets of flowers in memory of Alexeï Navalny on Monday at a monument in Moscow dedicated to the memory of the victims of Soviet political repression. It is notably composed of a stone from the Solovetsky Islands, where the first gulag was established.

France Media Agency in Moscow

2:07 p.m.

  • Asia

Dozens of Russians continued to lay flowers on a monument in Moscow on Monday to honor the memory of the opponent Alexeï Navalny, who died in prison, despite the hundreds of arrests which took place during the days previous ones.

Nearly 400 people have been arrested across Russia and at least 150 have been sentenced to short prison terms in the past three days for actions in memory of the charismatic opponent and anti-corruption activist, according to rights organizations.

On Monday, however, the police without violence allowed Muscovites, some of whom were crying, to parade one by one to lay flowers on a monument dedicated to the memory of the victims of Soviet political repression, opposite Lubyanka , headquarters of the Soviet KGB then the Russian FSB.

In Moscow, Russians honor the memory of Navalny, despite the arrests

Photo: Associated Press Russian police arrest a man who wanted to lay flowers at the foot of a Saint Petersburg monument in tribute to Alexeï Navalny on Saturday.

Several ambassadors, including the Frenchman Pierre Lévy, also visited the monument.

“Alexei Navalny is alive in our memory, he is a ray of light in our life. We will honor his memory and continue his work,” Larissa, a 54-year-old paramedic, told AFP in a solemn tone.

Alexandra, 21, was afraid to come to the monument after seeing videos of the previous days' arrests, but did so anyway. “The first two days I cried non-stop. I’m angry,” she says.

“Even though he was in prison, even though he was taken beyond the Arctic Circle, he was still alive. It’s as if there was still hope,” continues the young woman who has attended rallies organized by Mr. Navalny in the past. “He’s the kind of person you want to follow, and people have followed him. »

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“The hope of millions of Russians”

Konstantin, aged 16, says he became interested in politics from the age of 11, when he discovered Alexeï Navalny. “He’s the person whose activities I’ve followed all these years. And the news of his death, or rather his assassination on February 16, of course, shocked me,” he explains.

“He showed me that politics isn’t something boring that you only find in the newspapers. He was a “rock star” of Russian politics,” continues Konstantin, who emphasizes that the opponent was “able to interest different segments of the Russian population.”

Known for his anti-corruption investigations and his fierce fight against Vladimir Putin and his “party of thieves and crooks”, Alexei Navalny died Friday in the Arctic penal colony where he was serving a 19-year sentence years.

The circumstances of the opponent's death at the age of 47, victim of poisoning which he narrowly survived in 2020 and particularly harsh detention conditions, remain obscure and the authorities have refused until now to hand over his remains to his loved ones.

The charismatic lawyer was particularly popular with young people in big cities, such as Moscow and St. Petersburg.

He was in any case the leading figure of a Russian opposition otherwise undermined by years of repression.

“For millions of Russians, he was still a kind of hope, and we don’t know who could be the next hope after him,” emphasizes Elizaveta, 47, in a trembling voice. , who came to the Moscow memorial in dark glasses and nervously smoking a cigarette.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116