As morgue retains Navalny’s physique, spouse says she’ll lead struggle vs. Putin | EUROtoday

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RIGA, Latvia — Three days after the sudden loss of life of Alexei Navalny, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most formidable rival, the placement of his physique was nonetheless unclear on Monday and his mom was once more rebuffed by morgue officers within the Arctic city of Salekhard, 33 miles from the jail colony the place he died, Navalny’s press secretary stated.

Navalny’s grieving household and political group, who demanded the return of his stays on Saturday, have confronted an prolonged, nearly surreal wrestle to get well his physique, and even to determine its location — with Russian officers seemingly decided to hinder any impartial investigation into the reason for loss of life and delay a funeral.

But as Russian authorities continued to torment Navalny and his household even after his loss of life at age 47, there have been indicators that his spouse, Yulia Navalnaya, was ready to proceed her husband’s campaign in opposition to the Putin regime. Navalnaya was in Brussels on Monday to handle European Union international ministers who invited her in a present of solidarity.

In a video assertion posted on YouTube on Monday, Navalnaya proclaimed: “I will continue the work of Alexei Navalny.”

“A free, peaceful, happy Russia, a Beautiful Russia of the Future, which my husband dreamed of so much — that is what we need,” Navalnaya stated. “I want to live in this Russia. I want our children to live in it. I want to build it with you.”

“I should not have been in this position” Navalnaya, clad in black, added, her voice sometimes trembling. “I should not be recording this video. A different person should be in my place.” She accused Putin of murdering her husband. “Putin did not only murder the person, Alexei Navalny. He wanted, along with him to kill out hope, our freedom, our future,” she stated.

Navalny’s mom, Lyudmila Navalnaya, 69, has not been allowed even to see his physique. She traveled on Saturday to the Polar Wolf jail simply above the Arctic Circle in Yamalo-Nenets area, the place he died Friday and to the native morgue. Prison officers gave her a paper exhibiting a time of loss of life — 2:17 p.m. — however morgue officers denied that they had the physique.

Even after his loss of life, Russian authorities goal to repress help for Navalny

After the Russian newspaper-in-exile Novaya Gazeta Europe reported that Navalny’s physique was certainly on the morgue in Salkehard, the regional capital, Lyudmila Navalnaya and Navalny’s attorneys went to the morgue early Monday morning and had been once more denied entry.

“They were not allowed to go in. One of the lawyers was literally pushed out,” Navalny’s press secretary, Kira Yarmysh, who lives outdoors Russia, posted on X. “When the staff was asked if Alexei’s body was there, they did not answer.”

Members of Navalny’s group have referred to as his loss of life a “murder,” whereas many world leaders, together with President Biden, have said that Putin bears duty for his loss of life.

Amid fears that the true reason for loss of life could by no means be recognized, Yarmysh stated officers from Russia’s Investigative Committee, which handles main crimes, had prolonged their inquiry into the matter.

“They don’t say how long it will take. The cause of death is still ‘unknown.’ They lie, buy time for themselves and do not even hide it,” Yarmysh stated.

On Saturday, Lyudmila Navalnaya was initially instructed by jail officers that her son died of “sudden death syndrome,” with Investigative Committee officers later providing contradictory accounts, stating that the trigger was unknown.

Putin who has lengthy made some extent of nearly by no means uttering Navalny’s title, has made no remark concerning the loss of life of Navalny, who for greater than a decade was considered because the Russian chief’s most charismatic opponent.

Navalny was barred from operating within the 2018 Russian presidential election in opposition to Putin, after his unexpectedly robust exhibiting within the 2013 Moscow mayoral race.

Vladimir Putin, driving excessive earlier than Navalny’s loss of life, appears unstoppable

Navalny confronted quite a few prison prices, which he and plenty of impartial analysts stated had been trumped up for political retribution, and in August 2020, he was poisoned with a chemical nerve agent. Navalny later teamed up with Bellingcat, the investigative information group, and managed to show {that a} group of brokers from Russia’s Federal Security Service, or FSB, was liable for monitoring and poisoning him. They even recognized lots of the brokers by title. Navalny referred to as one and tricked him into confessing his position within the failed assassination try.

Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, on Monday stated Putin had made no response to Navalny’s loss of life, and that the Kremlin was “not engaged” within the matter of the return of his physique to his household. Asked whether or not the Kremlin was involved about making certain an intensive investigation into the reason for loss of life, Peskov replied: “Those actions that are stipulated by Russian legislation are being carried out.”

“The investigation into Navalny’s death is underway, and the necessary actions are being carried out,” he stated. “But the results have not yet been made public. It is not known about them.”

Peskov additionally criticized world leaders who stated the Russian president was liable for Navalny’s loss of life, calling it “absolutely unacceptable to make such blatantly boorish statements.”

Tens of hundreds of Russians have signed appeals for Navalny’s physique to be returned to his household and for them to be granted entry to the video digicam and body-camera footage from the jail and its workers.

More than 50,000 signed a petition organized by OVD-Info, a authorized rights group, to the Investigative Committee demanding the return of his physique to the household, and greater than 20,500 individuals signed a petition mounted by Nobel Peace Prize laureate and longtime Novaya Gazeta editor Dmitry Muratov, demanding that the household be granted entry to the surveillance footage from the jail.

Independent Russian media outlet Mediazona on Sunday revealed video of a convoy, together with two police automobiles and a jail van touring on Friday night time from the Polar Wolf jail colony towards Salekhard, probably carrying Navalny’s physique.

Novaya Gazeta Europe, quoting an ambulance paramedic, reported that Navalny’s physique was initially taken to a district hospital in Salekhard, as an alternative of on to the morgue as is customary within the case of jail deaths. The physique was later transferred to the morgue, in line with the paramedic.

Natalia Abbakumova and Mary Ilyushina in Riga, Latvia, contributed reporting.