Russian dissent flickers as Navalny supporters jailed

STORY: This is Russian activist Andrei Vyazov on February 16 - the day Alexei Navalny’s death in detention was announced.

He’s standing in front of a memorial to the victims of fascism, clutching a sign reading “Navalny 20!8”, in reference to the opposition leader’s failed president bid.

This small act of resistance in the southern city of Krasnodar lead to Vyazov being sentenced to 14 days in a special detention center for “demonstrating extremist symbols” - the maximum punishment allowed by law.

It exemplifies how, despite the state working around the clock to snuff out any sign of dissent over Russia's invasion of Ukraine and Navalny's death, signs of opposition still flicker.

According to Vyazov’s lawyer, who shared court documents with Reuters, the 41 year-old is being held in a basement cell and has not seen sunlight since his detention.

Vyazov is one of 404 protesters detained across 40 cities at events in Nalavny’s memory across Russia between February 16-19, according to rights group OVD-Info.

Russia's Interior Ministry did not immediately respond to questions about those arrests.

Russian authorities viewed Navalny and his supporters as extremists with links to the CIA intelligence agency who are seeking to destabilize Russia.

They have outlawed his movement, forcing many of his followers to flee abroad.

But ahead of his burial on Friday (March 1), there’s fear of further arrests on the day.

In this footage obtained by Reuters of a Moscow cemetery where his funeral will take place, workers can be seen installing security cameras.

A Reuters reporter saw three police patrols there.

A heavy police presence on Friday is expected and the authorities will break up anything they deem to resemble a political demonstration under protest laws.

Navalny’s supporters accuse President Vladimir Putin of having the Kremlin critic murdered, but have not published proof of their accusation.

The Kremlin denies any involvement in Navalny's death at age 47 in an Arctic penal colony.

His death certificate - according to his supporters - says he died of natural causes.