Yulia Navalnaya warns Europe of the necessity to confront Putin | EUROtoday

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MOSCOW — Yulia Navalnaya, widow of Russian opposition chief Alexei Navalny, warned the European Parliament of potential arrests at her husband’s funeral, which is now set for Friday.

Dressed in a somber black and white gown, Navalnaya went on to chastise Western politicians and officers for his or her coverage on Russia and Ukraine, and he or she implored them to alter their ways in opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin and deal with him not as a statesman however as a mafia chief.

She spoke on the identical day that Navalny’s supporters have been lastly capable of finding a venue for his funeral. His spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh mentioned on social media that the ceremony would happen in his residence district of Maryino, on the southwestern fringe of the capital, at 2 p.m. Friday and that he would then be buried in Borisov Cemetery.

For Russian political prisoners, Navalny’s demise is reminder of peril

“I am not sure yet whether it will be peaceful or whether police will arrest those who have come to say goodbye to my husband,” Navalnaya mentioned in her deal with, which garnered a protracted standing ovation.

Since Navalny died immediately in an Arctic jail colony two weeks in the past, the circumstances of his demise and funeral plans have been the topic of intense hypothesis, with many supporters saying the Kremlin needs to keep away from a public burial attended by crowds.

“Come early,” wrote Yarmysh, alluding to the potential chaos.

Russia’s main activist in opposition to President Vladimir Putin died in a Russian jail colony on Feb. 16. (Video: Zoeann Murphy, Jason Aldag/The Washington Post)

Navalny’s spouse, household and colleagues have accused Putin of ordering the homicide of Navalny, his best challenger and critic. Navalny survived a poisoning try in 2020, which was later proved to have been carried out by Russian state brokers. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov known as the allegations “absolutely unacceptable” and “boorish.”

“Putin killed my husband, Alexei Navalny. On his orders, Alexei was tortured for three years: he was starved to death in a tiny stone cell, cut off from the outside world,” Navalnaya mentioned to the Parliament, her voice trembling as she addressed it in English. “And then they killed him. Even after that, they abused his body and abused his mother.”

“Last Saturday was two years since Putin started a full-scale war against Ukraine. … There is much exhaustion, much blood, much disappointment, and Putin has gone nowhere,” she added. “Everything has already been used: weapons, money, sanctions — nothing is working.”

Navalnaya mentioned that “the worst has happened” — everybody has received used to the struggle — whereas some within the West are beginning to push for negotiations with Putin. But Putin operated not like a typical politician, however a mafia boss, she mentioned.

“If you really want to defeat Putin, you have to become an innovator. And you have to stop being boring,” she mentioned to applause. “You can’t hurt Putin with another resolution or another set of sanctions that is no different from the previous ones. You can’t defeat him by thinking he’s a man of principle who has morals and rules.”

She continued: “He’s not like that, and Alexei realized that a long time ago. You aren’t dealing with a politician but with a bloody mobster.”

“You, and all of us, must fight this criminal gang. And the political innovation here is to apply the methods of fighting organized crime, not political competition. Not diplomatic notes, but investigations into the financial machinations. Not statements of concern, but a search for mafia associates in your countries, for the discreet lawyers and financiers who are helping Putin and his friends to hide money.”

Her voice cracking, Navalnaya additionally requested European leaders to work with the tens of hundreds of thousands of antiwar Russians residing outdoors the nation.

“You must not persecute them — on the contrary, you must work with them. With us,” she mentioned.

Navalnaya herself can’t attend her husband’s funeral. Nor, probably, can their two youngsters, Zakhar and Daria. It has been reported by Russian state media that Navalnaya could be arrested on arrival, very similar to her husband in 2021.

“The same fate awaits Navalnaya! If she comes to Russia, she will go to prison,” mentioned chief Kremlin propagandist, Vladimir Solovyov, on his discuss present final week.

According to Navalny’s mom, Lyudmila Navalnaya, investigators tried to strain the household into holding a secret, non-public funeral — and at one level threatened to let Navalny’s physique decompose if they didn’t comply.

Since Navalnaya was lastly in a position to declare her son’s physique final week, aides to the late politician reported that it had been unattainable to discover a venue for the funeral.

“Some places say the space is busy, some places refuse upon mention of the name ‘Navalny.’ In one place we were directly told that funeral agencies were prohibited from working with us,” Yarmysh wrote on social media Tuesday.

A detailed adviser to Navalny, Leonid Volkov, who sat within the European Parliament throughout Navalnaya’s speech, wrote on Telegram {that a} strain marketing campaign in opposition to the Navalny household continues.

“Intimidating everyone possible on the chain of organizing farewells and funerals … will lead to nothing,” he wrote. “We will do everything possible to ensure that everyone who wants to say goodbye to Alexei can do so: peacefully, calmly, with dignity.”

Beatriz Rios in Brussels contributed to this report.