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Russia equates surname of late Navalny with extremist symbolism

Saturday, 2 March 2024, 06:32
Russia equates surname of late Navalny with extremist symbolism
Stock photo: Getty images

Courts in four Russian oblasts have equated the surname of the late opposition politician Alexei Navalny with extremist symbolism.

Source: Pervy Otdel and OVD-Info human rights projects; Radio Liberty's Russian Service

Details: The Pervy Otdel project refers to three notices under the Code of Administrative Offences issued to participants of Navalny memorial events in the cities of Chelyabinsk, Krasnodar and Murmansk. Previously it was reported that such notices had been issued for mentioning Navalny in Ulyanovsk.


Courts have imposed arrests for offences under the same code on participants of the events for displaying Navalny's name on their placards. In their rulings, the courts referred to the fact that the Anti-Corruption Foundation, recognised by the Russian authorities as an extremist organisation, repeatedly used the name and surname "Alexei Navalny" as "attributes and symbols".

Pervy Otdel noted that informant Danil Mikhayev's "expertise" was used in describing the circumstances of the "violations". Courts have repeatedly relied on his conclusions in cases involving the demonstration of prohibited symbols, despite the fact that in 2022, the Ministry of Justice recognised Mikhayev as "unqualified".

Pervy Otdel believes that no court decision has prohibited Navalny's name and that this cannot be done.

HHuman rights activists pointed out that given such a broad geography, punishment for a surname could be considered to be a widespread practice rather than a local exception.

The OVD-Info human rights project stated that over 104 people were detained in 19 cities across Russia in connection with Navalny's funeral.


  • The funeral service for Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, who died in a penal colony on 16 February, took place in Moscow on 1 March. 
  • On the afternoon of 16 February, Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service reported the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny at Correctional Facility No. 3 in Kharp, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, in northwestern Siberia. Representatives of the colony where Navalny was located told the politician's mother that he died of sudden death syndrome.
  • On 24 February, Russia’s prison employees finally handed over the body of opposition leader Alexei Navalny to his mother.
  • On 27 February, the politician's spokesperson Kira Yarmysh reported that Moscow funeral agencies refused to provide premises for the funeral of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

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