US President meets with Russia’s Alexey Navalny’s wife and daughter to express ‘heartfelt condolences’

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WASHINGTON, DC: US President Joe Biden met with the wife and daughter of late Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny in San Francisco and expressed his “heartfelt condolences” following the death of Russian leader in prison, White House said in an official statement.

In conversation with the Russian leader’s wife Yulia Navalnaya and daughter Dasha Navalnaya, President Biden expressed his admiration for Alexey Navalny’s extraordinary courage and his legacy of fighting against corruption.

“The President expressed his admiration for Aleksey Navalny’s extraordinary courage and his legacy of fighting against corruption and for a free and democratic Russia in which the rule of law applies equally to everyone,” the statement read.

President Biden also emphasized that Alexey legacy will carry on through people across Russia and around the world mourning his loss and fighting for freedom, democracy, and human rights.

“He affirmed that his Administration will announce major new sanctions against Russia tomorrow in response to Aleksey’s death, Russia’s repression and aggression, and its brutal and illegal war in Ukraine,” it added.

Meanwhile, Lyudmila Navalnaya, the mother of late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, alleged that the Moscow authorities are “blackmailing” her to accept a secret burial of her son, The Washington Post reported.

Navalnaya (69) said that she was allowed to see her son’s corpse for the first time since his mysterious death in prison.

The authorities also issued her a death certificate saying he had died of “natural causes,” said Navalny’s press secretary, Kira Yarmysh.

Navalny’s family and his team have claimed that the Kremlin critic was murdered and the Russian authorities have “used the delay in releasing his body to cover up any evidence.

“Lyudmila Navalnaya, whose son was President Vladimir Putin’s most formidable rival, said in a video posted on YouTube that the Investigative Committee in the northern town of Salekhard, near the prison where he died, was “still refusing to release the body to her while pressuring her for a secret burial,” as reported by The Post.

Navalnaya travelled to the Polar Wolf prison colony in Russia’s far north Nenets region on Saturday, the day after her son’s death and has been demanding the release of her son’s body from the morgue in the nearby town of Salekhard.

On Thursday, she said she was finally allowed to see the body but was taken in secret, separated from the lawyers who had accompanied her on the trip.

Meanwhile, Russian state television propagandists have been warning that if Navalny’s wife, Yulia Navalnaya, returns to Russia, she will face arrest.
Yulia Navalnaya has vowed to carry on her husband’s crusade for democracy in Russia.

In a social media post on X, she accused the Russian President of killing her husband. “Putin killed Alexei,” she wrote.

Navalny, a former lawyer, rose to prominence campaigning against corruption. He was known for his fierce rhetoric at public protests and in court and his team’s elaborate video investigations into state graft.

Thousands of people braved the winter temperatures in Russia to pay tribute to Navalny after the news of his death broke out. More than 360 people were arrested across 39 cities, as they laid flowers at monuments to victims of political repression and at ad hoc memorials, Al Jazeera reported, citing the OVD-Info rights group. (ANI)

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