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Media: Russian citizens attending Navalny vigils reportedly given draft summonses

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 21, 2024 4:04 PM 1 min read
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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At least six Russians arrested while attending makeshift memorials to the late opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who died in prison in Russia on Feb. 16, were given military draft notices upon their release from custody, local Russian media reported on Feb. 21.

Russian authorities have reportedly arrested hundreds of people for laying flowers at memorials to Navalny or otherwise publicly mourning his death.

Leaders around the world condemned Russia for Navalny's death and blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for what has been consistently characterized as a murder.

Russian Telegram channels said that six people who were detained in St. Petersburg while attending makeshift memorial ceremonies were told that they "must report to the enlistment office within a few days to verify their information and register for military service."

"They’ll break our fingers if we don’t sign (the summonses)," one Telegram channel reported, quoting a man who was arrested and subsequently handed a draft notice.

While Russia has refrained from ordering another wave of full-scale mobilization on the scale of what was seen in the fall of 2022, Ukraine's military intelligence said in January 2024 that as many as 30,000 people were being mobilized every month.

Biden administration to impose ‘major sanctions’ in response to Alexei Navalny’s murder
The White House says it is preparing “major sanctions” against Russia in response to opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s murder in an Arctic penal colony late last week, U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said on Feb. 20.

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