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Pro-Kremlin Party Orders Lawmakers to Ignore Navalny’s Death – Agentstvo

Alexei Navalny Moskva News Agency

The pro-Kremlin party United Russia has ordered lawmakers to avoid commenting on the death of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, the investigative news outlet Agentstvo reported Friday.

Deputies in the lower-house State Duma were reportedly told they should “keep strictly in line with the Federal Prison Service’s version [or] better to refrain from commenting at all."

Agentstvo said it learned about United Russia’s order from an anonymous source within the party and had obtained its copy.

There was no immediate confirmation of the report.

Agentstvo said United Russia circulated its message around 30 minutes after the Yamal-Nenets autonomous district prison service in the Far North announced Navalny’s death after “feeling unwell and losing consciousness following a walk” earlier Friday.

The Kremlin said Moscow had been informed about Navalny’s death.

Navalny’s close aides and family have not confirmed the announcement, saying that his lawyer was currently en route to the IK-3 maximum-security prison colony in the settlement of Kharp where Navalny was being held.

Western leaders and Russian opposition members blamed Navalny’s death on the Kremlin regime. Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman derided the “immediate” accusations.

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