Updated February 17th, 2024 at 21:55 IST

Alexei Navalny’s Mother Searching for His Body, He Was 'Murdered,' Says Team

An employee of the prison colony was cited by Yarmysh as saying that Navalny's body was taken to the nearby city of Salekhard.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny gestures during a court hearing in Moscow | Image:AP
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Press secretary for the now deceased Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, confirming the death of the prominent Russian opposition leader, said on Saturday that he was “murdered” by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. “Putin killed Alexei Navalny,” Kira Yarmysh said, citing a note that was handed to Navalny’s mother and naming unidentified source from the prison service as making such claims. A note handed to Navalny's mother “stated that he died at 2:17 p.m. local time Friday,” the spokesperson said, adding that it is still unclear where Navalny’s dead body is.

An employee of the prison colony was cited by Yarmysh as saying that Navalny's body was taken to the nearby city of Salekhard to probe the cause of his death. But that no one knew where his body is. “An employee of the colony told the family and lawyers that Alexei’s body was in Salekhard: investigators from the Investigative Committee took him and were conducting research on him,” Yarmysh said. “We demand that the body of Alexei Navalny be released to his family immediately,” Navalny’s press secretary said.

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'It's obvious that they are lying'

Shortly after the Federal Penitentiary Service in the Yamalo-Nenets District, where Navalny was jailed, announced the death of Navalny in IK-3, his lawyer flew to Kharp to get the confirmation of the report.

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"It's obvious that they are lying and doing everything they can to avoid handing over the body," the spokesperson wrote on X, formerly Twitter. She added that the team "demand that Alexei Navalny's body be handed over to his family immediately."

Navalny’s mother and the attorney visited the morgue in Salekhard, but it was closed, reports emerging on Telegram from Russian outlets say. Navalny’s team stated that as the jailed opposition leader’s mother called the morgue, she was told that her son Navalny's body was not there.

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Some of Navalny’s attorneys who headed to Salekhard's Investigative Committee were told that the cause of Navalny's death has not yet been established. And that the body of the opposition leader was sent for investigation to establish the cause of his death. The results of the investigation will be released next week, Yarmysh said.

Maria Pevchikh, head of the board of Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation, said that the opposition leader Navalny would "live on forever in millions of hearts.” "Navalny was murdered. We still don't know how we'll keep on living, but together, we'll think of something," she wrote on X.

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Published February 17th, 2024 at 21:55 IST