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Flowers and candles are left at a memorial on Feb. 16, 2024, in front of the Russian embassy in Berlin, after the announcement that the Kremlin's most prominent critic Alexei Navalny had died in an Arctic prison. (John Macdougall/AFP via Getty Images)
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Russian President Vladimir Putin must be held responsible for the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, the European Parliament said in a resolution adopted on Feb. 29.

According to the resolution, the Russian state, and Putin personally, bear criminal and political responsibility for Navalny's death.

Navalny, Putin's main political opponent, died on Feb. 16 in a penal colony in in Russia's far northern Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District. Leaders around the world pointed at Putin as to blame for Navalny's death. It remains unclear whether the harsh prison conditions caused his death or if he was intentionally murdered.

The European Parliament's resolution warned that Navalny's death is "yet another sign of the increasing and systematic repression in Russia" and demanded an "independent and transparent investigation into his murder in order to uncover the truth, ensure accountability, and secure justice."

The resolution asserted that Russia's political system is controlled by a consolidated authoritatian regime with rampant corruption that uses rigged elections as a semblance of democracy and concentrates all power in the hands of Putin.

The parliament also noted that the Russian people cannot be confused with the "warmongering, autocratic, and kleptocratic regime of the Kremlin."

Political, economic, financial, and military support for Ukraine amid Russia's war are the best answer to the current oppressive and aggressive practices by the Kremlin regime, the resolution concluded.

The U.S., the EU, and the U.K. announced additional sanctions against Russia shortly after Navalny's death and on the second anniversary of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The country already faces the heaviest sanctions in the world because of its aggression against Kyiv.

Navalny's funeral will be held on March 1 in Moscow's Borisov cemetery.

Navalny’s widow at European Parliament: Sanctions don’t work on Putin, more innovative ways needed
Speaking at the parliament, Yulia Navalnaya accused Russian authorities of orchestrating Navalny’s death, which, in her words, showed that “Putin is capable of anything and that you cannot negotiate with him.
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