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Yulia Navalnaya in Brussels, Belgium on Feb. 19, 2024 (Didier Lebrun/Photonews via Getty Images)
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Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of the late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, called on the European Union not to recognize the results of the Russian presidential election in March.

During a meeting with the E.U. Foreign Affairs Council yesterday, Mrs. Navalnaya delivered a speech in which she presented several proposals on behalf of her husband. She requested, among other things, that Union members strengthen sanctions against Putin's allies and not recognize the results of Russia's upcoming election.

"A president who assassinated his main political opponent cannot be legitimate by definition," the speech reads. "Introduce sanctions. Punish his so-called “confidants” - there are approximately 500 of them. Celebrities, singers, and actors who campaign for Putin support him and help his murderous regime survive."

Navalny, Russian President Vladimir 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.

"Putin lives in a different world, Mrs. Navalnaya added. "He doesn't care about red lines. How many more red lines drawn in blood should there be?"

In the days following Alexei's death, his wife Yulia announced her intention to continue his work in a video shared on Navalny's YouTube channel.

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.

Navalnaya has been unequivocal in her assessment of Navalny's death, saying "Vladimir Putin killed my husband Alexei Navalny."

Russia's presidential election is scheduled for March 15-17. Putin is widely expected to handily win a fifth term in office in the upcoming elections.

Russia held a rigged vote in 2020 to approve constitutional amendments allowing Putin to run for two more presidential terms after his current one expires in 2024. The vote effectively made Putin, who has been in power since 1999, a dictator for life.

Freedom House, a nonprofit advocating international democracy, gave Russia a 0/4 score in its 2023 report card on political freedoms in the country.

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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