Arrested for Leaving Flowers, Navalny Mourners Fear Worse to Come

A bishop who planned a public prayer for the Russian opposition leader Aleksei A. Navalny was detained as he left his house. Two men were arrested for having a photograph of Mr. Navalny in a backpack. Another man who lay flowers at a memorial said he was beaten by police officers for the small act of remembrance.

As thousands of Russians across the country tried to give voice to their grief for Mr. Navalny, who died in a remote Arctic penal colony on Friday, Russian police officers cracked down, temporarily detaining hundreds and placing more than two dozen in jail.

Until Mr. Navalny’s death at the age of 47, many observers had believed that the Kremlin would limit repression until after presidential elections in mid-March, when President Vladimir V. Putin is all but assured a fifth term. But manynow fear that the arrests portend a broader crackdown.

“Those who are detaining people are afraid of any opinion that isn’t connected to propaganda, to the pervading ideology,” said Lena, 31, who brought a sticker to the Solovetsky Stone, a monument to victims of political repression in the Soviet Union. “Don’t give up,” read the sticker — part of a message Mr. Navalny once recorded in case of his death.

Someone else placed a copy of Franz Kafka’s “The Trial” at the pediment, while others hung chains of paper cranes, candles, and a photo of Mr. Navalny smiling with fellow opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, who was assassinated in 2015 in the shadow of the Kremlin.

Lena, who gave only her first name for fear of reprisal, started to cry. “They are scared of Navalny in jail,” she said, “they are scared of dead Navalny, they are scared of the people who bring flowers here to the stone.”

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