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Navalny's wife: Putin's refusal to hand over Navalny's body is 'Satanism'

by The Kyiv Independent news desk February 24, 2024 11:14 AM 2 min read
Yulia Navalnaya in Brussels, Belgium on Feb. 19, 2024 (Didier Lebrun/Photonews via Getty Images)
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Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, lashed out at Russian dictator Vladimir Putin in a video released on Feb. 24, criticizing Russian authorities for their failure to release Navalny's remains to his family nine days after his death.

Navalny, Putin's main political opponent, died on Feb. 16 in a penal colony in the town of Kharp, Yamal Nenets Autonomous District. He had been convicted in several fabricated criminal cases as part of the Kremlin's crackdown on dissent.

Leaders around the world have blamed Putin for his death. Opinions differ on whether his death was caused by the harsh prison conditions or was an intentional murder.

The Russian government is still refusing to give Navalny's body to his family.

"This is not even hatred - this is some kind of Satanism, paganism. What are you planning to do with his body? How far will you go to mock the man you killed?" Navalnaya said.

Believers of the Orthodox Christian faith typically commemorate nine days and then 40 days after a person's death. According to Navalny's widow, he was very religious.

In the video, Navalnaya said that Putin is "holding (Navalny's) body hostage" and "mocking his mother" by attempting to coerce her into agreeing to a secret funeral so that people cannot publicly pay their respects. Otherwise, they are threatening to bury his body on the grounds of the penal colony where he died.

Navalnaya took this situation to call out Putin's repeated public stunts over the years to portray himself as a man of faith. He has often invoked "traditional values" in an effort to attack more vulnerable members of Russian society, like the LGBT community.

"We knew before that Putin's faith was fake, but now we see it more clearly than ever. Faith is not about kissing an icon. Faith is about goodness, about mercy, about salvation," she said.

"You are mocking the remains of the deceased. It is impossible to imagine greater devilry. You break every law: both human and divine."

Navalny's mother said on Feb. 22 that investigators had shown her Navalny's body. She said that the investigators had stated that they would only transfer the body to her if she agreed to a secret funeral, as opposed to a public one.

On Feb. 23, Navalny's team said that the investigators had threatened Navalny's mother and issued an ultimatum. They said that, if she did not agree to a secret funeral within three hours, they would bury Navalny at the penal colony, according to Navalny's team.

Alexei Navalny’s life and death as main opponent to Putin regime
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s death on Feb. 16 did not come as a surprise for those familiar with Russian politics. Navalny was Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s main opponent, and the Kremlin had used all the tools at its disposal to shut him up. He was sentenced in several fabricate…
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