The family of the late Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny, along with his team, has reportedly been denied access to his body, compounding their anguish. Investigators have informed them that the official probe into his death is being prolonged, with no clear indication of its duration. Yulia Navalnaya, Navalny’s widow and a vocal critic of the Kremlin, expressed frustration in a video statement, accusing authorities of cowardly and maliciously withholding his body from his mother. This denial of access comes four days after Russian prison authorities announced Navalny’s death in custody, attributing it to “sudden death syndrome.” Navalnaya, residing in exile outside Russia, condemned the authorities for what she termed “miserable lies,” suggesting they are waiting for any traces of a Putin-linked nerve agent, such as Novichok, to disappear. This references previous alleged poisonings by Russian security services in politically motivated attacks.

The widow of Alexey Navalny accuses Russia of “concealing his body and refusing to release it to his mother.”

Further exacerbating the distress experienced by the family of the deceased Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny, his mother and associates have allegedly been barred from accessing his remains. Investigators have communicated that the formal inquiry into his demise is being prolonged, with no definitive timeline provided. Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of the outspoken Kremlin critic, expressed in a video statement her indignation at the perceived act of concealment, stating, “They are cowardly and maliciously withholding his body, refusing to hand it over to his mother.” This statement was made four days after Russian prison authorities announced Navalny’s demise in custody, attributing it to “sudden death syndrome.”

  • Alexey Navalny’s statement to the world: ‘If they choose to end my life.'”
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    Yulia Navalnaya, residing in exile outside of Russia, has accused Russian authorities of deceit, alleging they are “lying miserably while waiting for the trace of another Putin’s Novichok to disappear,” referencing a poison reportedly utilized by Russian security services in past politically motivated assassination attempts. Navalnaya called upon Russians to join her in sharing “not only the grief and endless pain that has enveloped and gripped us—bbut also my rage,” as she pledged to continue her late husband’s mission to expose Putin’s alleged wrongdoings and challenge his enduring grip on power in Russia.

A spokesperson for Navalny, in a social media post, also accused Russian officials of dishonesty and “playing for time,” amidst ongoing crackdowns on tributes to the deceased dissident. Despite tributes laid at Moscow’s Solovetsky Stone—aa monument to victims of political repression—aand other locations across the nation, such acts of remembrance were swiftly removed in Putin’s Russia. Hundreds of individuals who have publicly honored Navalny since his passing on Friday have been detained.

Jeff Hawn, a Russia analyst, highlighted the profound mourning among Navalny’s supporters, stating that many now feel a sense of hopelessness following Navalny’s demise, as he was seen as a unifying figure for those longing for a more normal Russia.

Navalny was last seen alive one day prior to his death during a court appearance via video link from the IK-3 “Polar Wolf” penal colony in Russia’s far north. Despite appearing gaunt, he seemed healthy and in good spirits. Navalny had faced multiple convictions, all of which he and his supporters deemed politically motivated. Prison officials stated that he fell ill suddenly during a walk on Friday, collapsing and being unable to be revived by prison medics, attributing his death to “sudden death syndrome.”

While President Biden and numerous world leaders have attributed responsibility for Navalny’s death to Putin, the Russian president has yet to comment publicly, and accountability remains distant with Russian elections looming.


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