Spokeswoman confirms return of Navalny’s body to his mother


The remains of prominent Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny have been returned to his mother, according to his spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh. She expressed gratitude to everyone who demanded the authorities return his body. Navalny’s mother, Lyudmila, was reportedly pressured to agree to a “secret” burial, with the alternative being a burial at the prison colony where he died. After confirming his death and signing a death certificate, she was given three hours to agree to the “secret” funeral.

Lyudmila has spent the past week near the prison, first verifying the location of her son’s body and then demanding its return. She reportedly refused to negotiate with the authorities regarding the burial. The details of the funeral are still uncertain, with Yarmysh expressing concern about potential interference from authorities.

Navalny’s widow, Yulia Navalnaya, previously accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of holding her husband’s body “hostage” and demanded its unconditional release. She reiterated her accusation that Putin was responsible for her husband’s death, a claim the Kremlin has denied.

Navalny died on February 16 in a Russian prison within the Arctic Circle, with details surrounding his death remaining unclear. His team has offered a €20,000 ($22,000; £17,000) reward for information about his death in prison and assistance in leaving Russia.

Navalny was a prominent critic of Putin and was poisoned with the Novichok nerve agent in August 2020 by alleged Russian secret service assassins. He recovered in Germany before returning to Russia in January 2021, where he was imprisoned. Attempts to commemorate his death have been met with a strong response from Russian authorities, including the removal of makeshift monuments and arrests.

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