April 13, 2024

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Navalny's mother appeals to Putin to release her son's body

Navalny's mother appeals to Putin to release her son's body

On Tuesday, the mother of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny appealed to President Vladimir Putin to intervene Transforming her son's body To her so she can bury him with dignity.

Lyudmila Navalnaya, who has been trying to receive his body since Saturday, appeared in a video outside the Arctic penal colony where Navalny died on Friday.

“For the fifth day, I have not been able to see him. They did not release his body to me. They did not even tell me where he was,” Navalnaya, who was wearing black clothes and barbed wire, said in the video. Penal Colony No. 3 In Kharp, about 1,900 kilometers (1,200 mi) northeast of Moscow.

“I am communicating with you, Vladimir Putin. The solution to this issue depends on you alone. Let me finally see my son. I demand that Alexei's body be released immediately, so that I can bury him as a human being,” she said in the video posted by Navalny's team on social media.

Russian authorities said Navalny's cause of death remains unknown and have refused to release his body for the next two weeks while the preliminary investigation continues, members of his team said.

They accused the government of procrastinating to try to hide the evidence. On Monday, Navalny's widow, Yulia, posted a video in which she accused Putin of killing her husband, and claimed that the refusal to hand over his body was part of a cover-up.

She said: “They are cowards and despicable people who hide his body, refuse to hand it over to his mother, and lie miserably.”

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Lyudmila Navalnaya and her son's lawyers went to law enforcement agencies and the morgue where the body was believed to be kept in the Arctic region, but they were unable to convince them to hand it over or locate it.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov rejected the allegations of a cover-up, telling reporters that “these are shameless and completely unfounded accusations against the Russian head of state.”

Putin has not commented publicly on Navalny's death. On Monday, he signed a decree promoting a number of law enforcement and military officials, including Valery Boyarinev, first deputy head of the State Prison Service. Navalny's team accused Boyarinev, who held the rank of colonel-general, of personally ordering restrictions on the opposition leader.

Peskov denied any connection between Navalny's death and Boyarinev's new rank.

Navalny's death was forbidden Russian opposition From her The most famous and inspiring politician Less than a month before the elections that Putin is certain to award Six more years in power. Navalny was seen by many Russians as a rare hope for political change amid Putin's change Continuing repression of the opposition.

In the video she posted on Monday, Yulia Navalnaya pledged to continue her fight against the Kremlin. On Tuesday, her X account, where she posted the video, was briefly suspended by the platform without explanation but was later restored.

In a speech on Monday to the European Union's Foreign Affairs Council, she urged EU leaders not to recognize the results of next month's elections, to impose sanctions on more of Putin's allies and to help Russians fleeing the country. Navalny's spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh released a copy of her remarks on Tuesday.

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The White House said it was preparing additional “major sanctions” on Russia in response to Navalny's death, and National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the new package would be unveiled Friday. He declined to provide details about it or share how it would expand on the already strict measures imposed on Russia by the United States and its allies.

Kirby said only that the sanctions, which coincide with the second anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, would be “supplemented specifically with additional sanctions in connection with the death of Mr. Navalny.”

Navalny was 47 years old Imprisoned since January 2021When he returned to Moscow after recovering in Germany from a nerve agent poisoning, he blamed the Kremlin. happened Three prison terms Charges have since been dismissed as politically motivated.

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called for an international investigation into Navalny's death, but Peskov said the Kremlin would not agree to such a request.

Since Navalny's death, about 400 people have been killed They were detained Across Russia they tried to honor him with flowers and candles, according to OVD-Info, a group that monitors political detentions. Authorities have cordoned off some memorials to victims of Soviet repression across the country that were being used as sites to leave temporary memorials to Navalny. Police removed the flowers at night, but more continued to appear.

Peskov said police were acting “in accordance with the law” by arresting people praising Navalny.

OVD-Info said that more than 60,000 people have submitted requests to the government demanding that Navalny's remains be handed over to his relatives.

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After the last sentence, which led to 19 years in prison, Navalny said he understood that he was “serving a life sentence, which is measured by the length of my life or the length of this regime.”

In a video on Monday, his widow said: “By killing Alexei, Putin killed half of me, half of my heart, and half of my soul.”

“But I still have the other half, and that tells me that I have no right to give up. I will continue the work of Alexei Navalny,” Yulia Navalnaya said.