Alexei Navalny death latest: Elon Musk lifts ban on wife Yulia’s X account – now Putin targets her husband’s brother

Alexei Navalny’s mother demands Vladimir Putin returns her son’s body

Elon Musk’s X has restored Yulia Navalnaya’s account after “mistakenly suspending” the profile of the wife of Alexei Navalny on Tuesday, following his death in a Russian jail.

It came as Russia initiated a new criminal case against the Kremlin critic’s brother, Oleg Navalny, Tass reported. The state news agency did not say under which article of the criminal code the case had been opened. He was previously convicted of fraud in a case critics said was designed to pile pressure on his brother.

Meanwhile, Navalny’s 69-year-old mother Lyudmila Navalnaya issued an appeal directly to Vladimir Putin from outside the Arctic penal colony where her son died.

“Let me finally see my son. I demand that Alexei’s body be released immediately so that I can bury him in a humane way,” she said, after authorities said his body would not be released for a fortnight.

Mr Navalny’s wife, Yulia, has accused the authorities of holding his body to wait for traces of “yet another Putin’s Novichok” to leave his body — referring to the military nerve agent used to poison him years ago.


Navalnaya urges EU not to recognise results of looming Russian elections

In her speech on Monday to the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council, Yulia Navalnaya urged EU leaders not to recognize the results of next month’s presidential election in Russia, to sanction more of Vladimir Putin’s allies, and to help Russians who flee the country.

A copy of her remarks was released Tuesday by Navalny spokesperson Kira Yarmysh.

Andy Gregory21 February 2024 03:50


Biden slams Trump for failing to criticise Putin over Navalny’s death

Joe Biden issued a blistering critique of Donald Trump’s Truth Social post on Navalny’s death, saying, “Why does Trump always blame America? (Russian president Vladimir) Putin is responsible for Navalny’s death. Why can’t Trump just say that?”

The US president and other western leaders have blamed Mr Putin for Alexei Navalny’s death, as has Nikki Haley, who trails far behind Mr Trump as his sole remaining rival for the Republican presidential nomination.

President Joe Biden arrives at Los Angeles International Airport, Tuesday, 20 February 2024, in Los Angeles


The Kremlin has denied involvement in Navalny’s death and said Western claims that Mr Putin was responsible are unacceptable.

Namita Singh21 February 2024 03:30


Trump says Navalny was ‘brave’, but should not have returned to Russia

Former US president Donald Trump said that Alexei Navalny was “a very brave man” who probably should not have returned to Russia, without assigning any blame for the Russian opposition leader’s unexpected death.

“Navalny is a very sad situation, and he is a very brave, he was a very brave guy because he went back. He could have stayed away,” Mr Trump said during a town hall interview with Fox News in South Carolina.

“And, frankly, he probably would have been a lot better off staying away and talking from outside of the country as opposed to having to go back in, because people thought that could happen and it did happen. And it’s a horrible thing,” he said.

Trump participates in a Fox News town hall with Laura Ingraham in Greenville


Mr Trump – who has expressed admiration for Russian president Vladimir Putin both during his 2017-2021 White House tenure and afterward – continued to compare himself to Navalny, implying that they both had faced politically motivated prosecutions.

“But it’s happening in our country too,” Mr Trump said. “We are turning into a communist country in many ways. And if you look at it – I’m the leading candidate. I get indicted.”

On Sunday, he wrote in a Truth Social post that Navalny’s death in an Arctic penal colony last week had made him “more aware of what is happening” in the United States. Trump did not elaborate, but he has frequently dismissed the 91 criminal charges against him as politically motivated, a claim prosecutors deny.

Namita Singh21 February 2024 03:15


Watch: Alexei Navalny’s mother demands Vladimir Putin returns her son’s body

Alexei Navalny’s mother demands Vladimir Putin returns her son’s body

Andy Gregory21 February 2024 02:44


Opinion | Navalny’s death has shown US House Speaker Mike Johnson up as a coward

Our Washington Bureau Chief Eric Garcia writes:

Upon the news of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s death, House Speaker Mike Johnson denounced Vladimir Putin.

“As Congress debates the best path forward to support Ukraine, the United States and our partners must be using every means available to cut off Putin’s ability to fund his unprovoked war in Ukraine and aggression against the Baltic states,” he said in a statement.

Of course, Johnson’s words would hold much more weight if he had actually put through the aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan that the Senate passed on the floor of the House of Representatives. Indeed, as the Senate labored late into the night on Monday and into the wee hours of Tuesday to pass that aid bill, Johnson summarily killed the bill because it did not address immigration at the US-Mexico border.

Despite his tough words, Johnson — a political neophyte only elected to the House in 2016, who became Speaker after three other candidates for the job faltered before him — has elected to appeal only to the most extreme elements of the GOP conference.

Andy Gregory21 February 2024 01:34


Critics like Navalny need support against ‘monster’ Putin, says Alexander Litvinenko’s widow

Critics like Alexei Navalny need support from the West against the “monster” Vladimir Putin, Alexander Litvinenko’s widow has said.

Marina Litvinenko’s husband, a prominent Putin critic and Russian defector, died in 2006 after becoming violently ill in London having been poisoned with radioactive polonium-210. A British inquiry found that Russian agents had killed Mr Litvinenko, probably with Putin’s approval, but the Kremlin denied any involvement.

He is among the many Kremlin political critics, turncoat spies and investigative journalists who have been killed or assaulted in a variety of ways over the years.

Ms Litvinenko branded Putin a “monster” and called on the West to help Russian opposition figures who are still alive. She told Sky News: “I am more thinking about people living in Russia, they have more dangerous lives, but they are still working on the outside.

“They are in need of support, and we are living here in the West, we need to support these people in Russia. We need to do everything to save the lives of these people, otherwise Putin’s regime will achieve its result.”

Andy Gregory21 February 2024 00:39


Who is Yulia Navalnaya – the woman vowing to carry forward Navalny’s battle against Putin

Before the sudden death of her husband Alexei Navalny in a grim Arctic prison last week, Yulia Navalnaya had always played down the suggestion that she would one day take over as leader of Russia’s opposition.

But on Monday, as the 47-year-old widow alternated between rage and grief, she gave a powerful speech signalling that she would be there to help lead a shell-shocked opposition – a job fraught with danger.

“I want to live in a free Russia, I want to build a free Russia,” said the mother-of-two in a video message. Stepping out of the shadow of her dead husband, she called on his supporters to “share the rage” and “stand” with her.

Filmed from a dimly lit room in an undisclosed location outside of Russia, the message in the video was both emotional and political.

My colleague Namita Singh reports:

Andy Gregory20 February 2024 23:46


Julian Assange’s wife appears to compare WikiLeaks founder to Alexei Navalny

Julian Assange’s wife appears to compare WikiLeaks founder to Alexei Navalny

Andy Gregory20 February 2024 22:40


Full report: Alexei Navalny mother’s pleads for Putin to return her son’s body

The mother of dead Russian dissident Alexei Navalny has issued a direct plea to Vladimir Putin for the release of her son’s body so she can “bury him with dignity”.

In a video filmed outside the Arctic penal colony where he died on Friday, Lyudmila Navalnaya, 69, said she had been trying to see him for five days but didn’t even know where he was being kept.

“Let me finally see my son. I demand that Alexei’s body be released immediately so that I can bury him in a humane way,” she said from the village of Kharp, some 1,200 miles northeast of Moscow, where it is minus 10C.

You can more in this full report of today’s developments:

Andy Gregory20 February 2024 21:40


Navalny issued chilling warning about second Trump term in final letters from prison

Alexei Navalny issued a chilling warning about what a second presidential term for Donald Trump could mean in one of his final letters before he died in an Arctic prison last week.

In one 3 December letter to Evgeny Feldman, a photographer who covered his attempted run for president in 2018 and now lives in exile in Latvia, Navalny wrote that he feared that if anything should happen to President Joe Biden – a distinct possibility, he felt, given the American’s advanced age – “Trump will become president”.

To Navalny, a second Mr Trump term was a “really scary” prospect for the wider world. “Doesn’t this obvious thing concern the Democrats?” he asked Mr Feldman, apparently incredulous that 81-year-old Mr Biden is pursuing a second term rather than yielding to a younger successor to take on Mr Trump.

My colleague Joe Sommerlad has more in this report:

Andy Gregory20 February 2024 20:34

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