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Navalny's widow accuses Putin and promises to continue his fight

Photo: Yves Herman Agence France-Presse Yulia Navalnaïa made a brief speech on Monday and was applauded at length, according to a European diplomat, during a meeting in Brussels of European Union foreign ministers.

France Media Agency in Warsaw

February 19, 2024

  • Europe

Alexei Navalny's widow, Yulia Navalnaïa, promised to continue the fight against Vladimir Putin led by her husband and called on her supporters to join her, three days after the opponent's death in prison in dark conditions.

In a video broadcast on Monday, Yulia Navalnaïa, her voice sometimes tight with emotion, returned to the journey and suffering of her husband. And she assured that she would take up the torch.

“Three days ago, Vladimir Putin killed my husband, Alexei Navalny. Putin killed the father of my children […] With him, [Putin] wanted to kill our hope, our freedom, our future,” asserted Yulia Navalnaïa.

“I will continue the work of Alexeï Navalny. I will continue for our country, with you. And I call on you all to stand close to me […] It is not a shame to do little, it is a shame to do nothing, it is a shame to let yourself be frightened,” he said. she hammered.

“We must unite to strike at one blow Putin, his friends, the thugs in epaulettes, the courtiers and the killers who want to paralyze our country,” she said.

Ms. Navalnaïa said her team would find out who committed “this crime” against her husband and under what circumstances.

Moreover, she made a brief speech on Monday and was applauded at length, according to a European diplomat, during a meeting in Brussels of European Union foreign ministers.

Putin will have to “be held accountable”, the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, said on X at the end of this meeting, while the American president, Joe Biden, said “consider » additional sanctions against Moscow.

“The European Union must act against political oppression in Russia,” said Stockholm, which summoned the Russian ambassador to Sweden.

France, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark also announced on Monday that they had summoned the Russian ambassador to their countries for the same reason.

No access to the body

President Vladimir Putin's number one adversary died Friday at age 47 in a prison in the Arctic region of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District, where he was serving a 19-year sentence for “extremism.”

The opponent's mother and a lawyer, present on site, were deprived of access to the remains for at least 14 days, according to his team, which accuses the Kremlin of having killed him.

“Investigators told Alexei's lawyers and mother that they would not return his body, on which a so-called “chemical expertise” will be carried out for 14 days,” claimed on YouTube Kira Iarmich, Mr. Navalny’s spokesperson.

“They are hiding Navalny’s body to cover up the traces of the murder,” she said, denouncing a “blatant lie” from the authorities.

Asked about the subject, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri Peskov limited himself to saying on Monday that an investigation was underway and that there were no results “for the moment”.< /p>

According to Evgeni Smirnov, a lawyer from the specialized NGO Pervy Otdel, investigators can legally keep the body of a person who died in prison for up to 30 days.

But, according to him, even after this period, the authorities can decide to open a criminal investigation, carry out “new manipulations” and keep the corpse “as long as they want”.

“It is very easy to find legal reasons to keep the remains for months, or even longer,” said the lawyer.

The opponent's mother and a lawyer went to penal colony No. 3 on Saturday, located in a remote location, 2,000 kilometers from Moscow. According to the Russian Prison Service (FSIN), Alexeï Navalny died there on Friday, the victim of a sudden malaise “after a walk”.

He had been imprisoned since his return to Russia in early 2021, after a serious poisoning, and his health had deteriorated. He had spent nearly 300 days in a disciplinary cell, in exhausting detention conditions.

Vladimir Putin, who never mentioned Mr. Navalny's name, has still made no comment on his death, which comes a month before the presidential election, the outcome of which is in no doubt .

Also read

  • Chronicle | Navalny's sacrifice
  • Yulia Navalnaïa, strong woman worthy of Alexeï Navalny

Wave of emotion

The death of Alexei Navalny sparked a great wave of emotion in Russia and the West. Many Western leaders have blamed Moscow for his death. The Kremlin reacted on Monday by denouncing “odious” statements.

In Russia, modest attempts to pay tribute to the opponent, in the midst of repression and a campaign of intimidation against any criticism since the launch of the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, have been repressed .

This weekend, Russian police arrested hundreds of people in dozens of cities who had come to lay flowers and light candles in his memory.

On Monday, however, the police allowed Muscovites, many of whom were crying, to march one by one to lay flowers on a monument in memory of the victims of political repression without violence.

“[Navalny] is a ray of light in our life. We will honor her memory and continue her work,” Larissa, a 54-year-old paramedic, told Agence France-Presse.

Alexei Navalny was the most prominent opposition representative in Russia, where he had gained significant popularity thanks to his in-depth investigations into corruption under the regime of Vladimir Putin.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116