Navalny's Body Released to His Mother

Written by Henrik Rothen

Feb.25 - 2024 12:30 PM CET

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Photo: Gregory Stein / Shutterstock.com
Photo: Gregory Stein / Shutterstock.com
Navalny's Body Released to His Mother.

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The body of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny has been released to his mother, Lyudmila, announced Kira Yarmysh, the spokesperson for the opposition leader.

"Thank you very much to everyone who demanded this with us. For now, Lyudmila Ivanovna is in Salekhard. The funeral is still ahead. We do not know if the authorities will interfere with conducting it the way the family wants and the way Alexei deserves. We will provide information as it becomes available," she wrote.

Alexei Navalny passed away in Correctional Colony No. 3 in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug on February 16. It was reported that after a walk, the politician "felt unwell, almost immediately losing consciousness," and "resuscitation measures" did not yield positive results — "emergency medical service doctors declared him dead."

The politician's mother and lawyer flew to Salekhard on February 17. Since then, they have been fighting for the release of the body. On February 19, investigators announced that they would be conducting a "chemical examination" of the body for at least another 14 days. After this, Lyudmila Navalnaya recorded a video appeal to President Vladimir Putin, demanding to be allowed to "bury her son in a humane way."

According to the politician's allies, the authorities attempted to "hide the traces of murder," hence the delay in releasing the body. Five days after Navalny's death, investigators finally showed his body to his mother and demanded a secret burial, threatening otherwise to delay the release of the body as long as possible.

In a new video statement, Lyudmila Navalnaya declared that she would not succumb to blackmail. "They want it to be done secretly, without a farewell. They want to bring me to the edge of the cemetery, to a fresh grave, and say: here lies your son. I do not agree with this. I want you, for whom Alexei was dear, for whom his death has become a personal tragedy, to have the opportunity to say goodbye to him," she noted.

The medical report presented to Navalny's mother stated that the politician died of natural causes. However, the opposition leader's allies and relatives do not believe this. Investigative journalist Christo Grozev, who previously identified FSB agents who poisoned Navalny with Novichok in 2020, has promised to investigate his death.

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