Russian emigres gather across Europe to mourn opposition leader Navalny

Russian emigres gather across Europe to mourn opposition leader Navalny

London: Hundreds of protesters, many of them Russian emigres, gathered in cities across Europe and beyond to express their outrage over the death of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

Often gathering outside Russian embassies, they chanted slogans critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom they blamed for the activist’s death, holding up signs calling him a “killer” and demanding accountability.

In Berlin, a crowd of 500 to 600 people, according to police estimates, gathered on the city’s Unter den Linden boulevard, chanting in a mixture of Russian, German and English.

Some chanted “Putin to the Hague”, referring to the international criminal court investigating possible war crimes committed in Ukraine. Police used barriers to close off the road between the Russian embassy and the crowd.

“Alexei Navalny is the leader of the Russian opposition and we always kept hope in his name,” said a Russian man draped in a blue-and-white anti-war flag, giving his name only as Ilia.

In Lithuania, formerly run from Moscow but now a member of NATO and the European Union and home to a sizeable community of emigres, protesters placed flowers and candles by a portrait of Navalny.

Putin’s most formidable domestic opponent, Navalny fell unconscious and died on Friday after a walk at the Arctic penal colony where he was serving a three-decade sentence, prison authorities said.