Navalny’s remains released to family

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25th February 2024 – (Moscow) The remains of Alexei Navalny, the prominent Russian dissident, have been returned to his grieving mother, according to Kira Yarmysh, Navalny’s spokesperson. This development follows reports that Navalny’s family was coerced into consenting to a clandestine interment or risk having him buried within the confines of the penal colony where he met his end.

In a poignant message on social media, Yarmysh expressed gratitude to the global community for their vocal demand for the return of Navalny’s body. “The funeral arrangements are pending,” she stated. “Uncertainty lingers as to whether the authorities will impose restrictions on the funeral proceedings, denying the family their wishes and Alexei Navalny the dignified farewell he merits.”

Lyudmila Navalny, the mother of the late critic, has spent the previous week near the prison attempting to verify her son’s body’s whereabouts and subsequently demanding its release. Following the issuance of a death certificate that cited natural causes as the reason for Navalny’s demise, she was presented with a harrowing ultimatum: consent to a concealed funeral within a three-hour window or her son would be interred on prison grounds.

Yarmysh revealed that despite the pressure, Lyudmila Navalny rebuffed any negotiations with the officials.

In a recent and emotionally charged statement, Yulia Navalnaya, Navalny’s widow, publicly accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of effectively taking her husband’s body “hostage.” She called for its unconditional return and reiterated her accusation that Putin was complicit in Navalny’s death—a claim that has been vehemently denied by the Kremlin, labelling the Western outcry over the incident as “hysterical.”

Navalny passed away on 16th February within a Russian correctional facility located in the Arctic Circle. He was the most vocal adversary of the Russian government, enduring years of relentless opposition.

The world watched in horror in August 2020 when Navalny was targeted with the Novichok nerve agent, an assassination attempt traced back to operatives from Russian intelligence. After a critical medical evacuation to Germany, Navalny made a miraculous recovery, only to be detained upon his return to Russian soil in January 2021.

Efforts to commemorate Navalny’s life and protest his death have been met with staunch resistance from Russian authorities, characterized by the dismantling of impromptu memorials and the detainment of hundreds of supporters.