Navalny’s Mother Urges Putin to Return Her Son’s Body


The mother of Alexei Navalny, a critic of Putin who passed away in a Russian prison, has pleaded with President Vladimir Putin to release his body. In a video recorded outside the prison where he died, she revealed she had been trying to see him for five days but was unaware of his location. Navalny’s wife, Yulia, also implored the authorities to allow his family to bid him farewell.

The family was informed that his body would not be released for two weeks as it was being held for “chemical analysis”, according to a representative for Navalny. The Russian authorities have not confirmed the location of the body and attempts to locate it have been consistently thwarted.

Yulia Navalnaya has claimed that her husband’s body is being withheld until evidence of poisoning by the nerve agent Novichok has vanished. Navalny survived an assassination attempt using this poison in 2020. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed these allegations as “unfounded and vulgar”.

Navalny’s mother made a direct appeal to President Putin outside the Siberian prison, Polar Wolf, where his death was announced on 16 February. She demanded that Alexei’s body be released immediately for a proper burial. Her sentiments were echoed by her daughter-in-law in a strongly worded post on X (formerly known as Twitter).

Yulia Navalnaya has accused Putin of murdering her husband and called for his body to be returned for a dignified burial. She has also urged EU leaders not to recognize Russia’s presidential elections on 16 March and to target members of Putin’s inner circle evading sanctions.

Navalny’s death was announced on Friday. He never regained consciousness after collapsing post a walk, according to the authorities at the Siberian prison where he was held. They later attributed his death to “sudden death syndrome”.

Navalny, a significant leader of the Russian opposition for the past decade, was serving a 19-year sentence on politically motivated charges. Western leaders have blamed Putin for Navalny’s death and new sanctions against Russia are expected.

The US is set to announce a “major sanctions package” on Friday to “hold Russia accountable” for Navalny’s death, according to National Security spokesperson John Kirby. The European Union is also contemplating new sanctions, while UK Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron anticipates the G7 group of wealthy nations to target individuals associated with Navalny’s death.

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