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Navalny's wife accuses Putin of killing her husband with Novichok; vows to fight for "free Russia"

February 20, 2024 11:23 AM

Moscow : Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny -- who died mysteriously in prison -- accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of killing her husband and vowed to continue his fight for a "free Russia," Al Jazeera reported.
Navalnaya also accused the Russian authorities of hiding Navalny's body so that the traces of a 'Novichok' nerve agent disappeared from his body.

 

"Three days ago, Vladimir Putin killed my husband, Alexey Navalny," she said in a nine-minute video statement released on Monday.
"By killing Alexey, Putin killed half of me - half of my heart and half of my soul...But I still have the other half, and it tells me that I have no right to give up. I will continue the work of Alexey Navalny, continue to fight for our country," she said.

 

"I want to live in a free Russia. I want to build a free Russia," Navalnaya said. "I urge you to stand next to me...I ask you to share the rage with me. Rage, anger, and hatred towards those who dared to kill our future."


Earlier on Monday, she also held meetings with European officials in Brussels. She met European Council President Charles Michel. She also met the EU's top diplomat, Josep Borrell on Sunday, as reported by CNN.

 

Navalny died on Friday at the age of 47 in the IK-3 maximum security prison colony in Kharp, a town north of the Arctic Circle about 1,900 km (1,200 miles) northeast of Moscow, where he was serving a 19-year sentence on charges of extremism, as reported by Al Jazeera.


Notably, even three days after his death, Navalny's family has not been allowed to see his body. Meanwhile, Navalny's spokesperson, Kira Yarmish, said that the body of the Russian opposition leader will not be returned to the family for at least another 14 days as the body will be under "some sort of chemical examination" during that period, CNN reported.

 

The circumstances surrounding the death of the opposition leader also remain murky, as Moscow claims that Navalny felt sick and fainted after a walk and medics' efforts to resuscitate him failed.


Al Jazeera reported, citing footage obtained by independent media outlet Mediazone, which showed four vehicles, including those of the penitentiary service, crossing the only road linking Labytnangi, close to the prison, with Salekhard. According to the media outlet, the unusual convoy suggests that Navalny's body was being transported to Salekhard.

 

Navalny, a former lawyer, rose to prominence campaigning against corruption. He was known for his fierce rhetoric at public protests and in court and his team's elaborate video investigations into state graft.

 

Thousands of people braved the winter temperatures in Russia to pay tribute to Navalny after the news of his death broke out.
More than 360 people were arrested across 39 cities, as they laid flowers at monuments to victims of political repression and at ad hoc memorials, Al Jazeera reported, citing the OVD-Info rights group.


The rights group also launched a petition campaign demanding the Investigation Committee hand over Navalny's body to his family and the document has been signed by over 50,000 people.

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