Navalny’s Body Retained for Chemical Analysis, Family Claims

The family of Alexei Navalny, the deceased Russian opposition leader, has been informed that his body will not be released for two weeks, according to a representative for Navalny. His mother was reportedly told that the body is being held for “chemical analysis.” Russian authorities have not confirmed the body’s location, and efforts to locate it have faced repeated obstacles.

Yulia Navalnaya, the late opposition leader’s wife, accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of her husband’s murder in a video on Monday. She alleged that Navalny’s body is being withheld until any traces of poisoning by the nerve agent Novichok have dissipated.

On Tuesday, a spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed the claim that Alexei Navalny was poisoned with Novichok as unfounded. Navalny had previously survived an assassination attempt with the same nerve agent in 2020.

In an emotional video on Monday, Navalny’s widow, Yulia Navalnaya, urged viewers to join her in expressing anger and resentment towards those responsible for her husband’s death, stating, “share the fury and hate for those who dared to kill our future.”

The death of Alexei Navalny in prison was officially declared on Friday. Authorities at the Siberian penal colony, where he was incarcerated, reported that he had not regained consciousness after collapsing following a walk.

Following the announcement of Alexei Navalny’s death in prison, his mother and lawyer promptly traveled to the remote penal colony. However, attempts to locate his body have faced repeated obstacles from the prison mortuary and local authorities.

On Monday, the Kremlin reported that the investigation into Navalny’s death was ongoing, with no conclusive results at that time. Subsequently, Navalny’s spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh, revealed that investigators informed Navalny’s mother, Lyudmila, that they would withhold the body for two weeks to conduct a “chemical analysis.”

EPA Lyudmila Navalnaya walking alongisde lawyers after visiting the Investigative Committee in Salekhard, Yamalo-Nenets region on 19 February


In a video message reminiscent of her late husband’s style, Yulia Navalnaya expressed her belief that Alexei Navalny had been poisoned. She accused authorities of concealing his body and spreading falsehoods, alleging they were waiting for traces of Putin’s latest Novichok to disappear. Navalny, a prominent figure in the Russian opposition for the past decade, was serving a 19-year sentence on charges widely perceived as politically motivated.

Western leaders have put the blame for Navalny’s death squarely on President Putin.

Addressing reporters on Monday, President Joe Biden asserted, “The fact of the matter is: Putin is responsible, whether he ordered it or he is responsible for the circumstances he put that man in.” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, in a press conference on the same day, accused Putin’s regime of “slowly murdering” Navalny in a Russian jail. Both the EU and the US are contemplating new sanctions on Russia in the aftermath of Navalny’s death. UK Foreign Secretary, Lord Cameron, anticipates that Britain and the G7 nations will impose additional sanctions on any Russians linked to the incident. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov criticized Western politicians’ comments on Navalny’s death as “arrogant” and “unacceptable.”


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