Kremlin breaks silence on widow's claims Alexei Navalny was poisoned by Novichok

20 February 2024, 12:35 | Updated: 20 February 2024, 13:34

Authorities clamp down on protests in Russia (l). Alexei Navalny's widow Yulia Navalnaya (top r) and Russian tyrant (bottom r)
Authorities clamp down on protests in Russia (l). Alexei Navalny's widow Yulia Navalnaya (top r) and Russian tyrant (bottom r). Picture: Alamy

By StephenRigley

Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed allegations of being responsible for Alexei Navalny's death as "unfounded" and "insolent".

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Yulia Navalnaya accused Putin of killing her husband in the remote Artic prison and alleged that officials' refusal to hand over his body to his mother was part of a cover-up.

And today Russia placed Navalny's brother Oleg on it's most wanted list. He travelled to Cyprus in 2021 but did not return to Russia, reports said.

In a video released on Monday Ms Navalnayashe said: "My husband could not be broken.

Widow of Alexei Navalny accuses Vladimir Putin of killing him

"And that's exactly why Putin killed him. Shameful, cowardly, not daring to look into his eyes or simply say his name."

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "These are absolutely unfounded, insolent accusations about the head of the Russian state."

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny (right) and his wife Yulia (left) at an opposition march in Moscow
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny (right) and his wife Yulia (left) at an opposition march in Moscow. Picture: Alamy

Read More: Elon Musk suspends Alexei Navalny widow’s X account after she accused Putin of killing her husband

Read More: Alexei Navalny’s mother appeals for release of her son’s body

Russian authorities said that the cause of Mr Navalny's death last Friday is still unknown and the results of any investigation are likely to be questioned abroad.

Many Western leaders have already said they hold Mr Putin responsible for the death.

Since Mr Navalny's death, around 400 people have been detained by Russian police as they streamed to ad-hoc memorials and monuments to victims of political repression with flowers and candles to pay tribute to Navalny, according to OVD-Info, a group that monitors political arrests.

Mr Navalny, 47, had been imprisoned since January 2021, when he returned to Moscow after recuperating in Germany from a nerve agent poisoning that he blamed on the Kremlin.

Supporters of Alexei Navalny continue to leave flowers and tributes at the makeshift memorial opposite the Russian Embassy in London
Supporters of Alexei Navalny continue to leave flowers and tributes at the makeshift memorial opposite the Russian Embassy in London. Picture: Alamy

Read More: Putin's number one enemy Alexei Navalny 'was killed by Novichok', widow claims as mother barred from seeing body

Now, in a video address from the IK-3 penal colony where Navany died, his mother Lyudmila Navalnaya has called on Putin to release her son's body.

Speaking this morning, she said: "I haven't been able to see him for five days. His body hasn't been handed to me, I'm not being told where he is."I'm addressing you, Vladimir Putin, The solution to the issue depends only on you. Let me finally see my son. I demand that Alexei's body be immediately returned to me so that I can bury him humanely."

Yulia Navalnaya, wife of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, addresses a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the European Council building in Brussels
Yulia Navalnaya, wife of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, addresses a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the European Council building in Brussels. Picture: Alamy

He received three prison terms since his arrest, on several charges he has rejected as politically motivated.

It is unclear what response Britain and other Western nations will take against Russia as Moscow is already under heavy sanctions since the war in Ukraine.

In a Cabinet meeting yesterday Rishi Sunak told ministers “Putin is not winning” but that the UK and its allies must “intensify” support for Ukraine as the country keeps up its defensive position against Moscow.

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