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Alexei Navalny latest: UK first country to issue sanctions over ‘brutal’ killing of Putin critic in prison

Alexei Navalny latest: UK first country to issue sanctions over ‘brutal’ killing of Putin critic in prison

The UK has frozen the assets of six Russian prison bosses in charge of the Arctic penal colony where opposition leader Alexei Navalny died.

Western leaders say the blame for Mr Navalny’s death lies with the Russian authorities, including Vladimir Putin. Yulia Navalnaya, Mr Navalny’s wife, has said she believes her husband was poisoned with Novichok.

“Those responsible for Navalny’s brutal treatment should be under no illusion - we will hold them accountable,” UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron said.

The UK is the first country to impose sanctions in response to his death, the Foreign Office said.

It comes as the Salekhard City Court, the city in which Mr Navalny’s body was supposedly transferred after his death, said it will consider the demand of his mother to have his body returned on 4 March.

Elsewhere, Vladimir Osechkin, founder of the human rights group Gulag.net claimed to The Times that he believed the Russian authorities kept Mr Navalny’s body out in the cold for hours before killing him, potentially with one punch to the heart. Claiming that former prisoners from the Arctic region had previously told of such deaths. The details of Mr Navalny’s death are still unclear.

Key points

  • Cameron to set out consequences for Russia over Navalny's death

  • Lyudmila Navalnaya urges Vladimir Putin to return her son’s body

  • Kremlin opens new criminal case against Alexei Navalny’s brother Oleg

  • X briefly suspends Yulia Navalnaya’s account

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17:26 , Holly Evans

We are now ending our live coverage of Alexei Navalny’s death and ongoing reactions from around the globe.

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Tens of thousands demand Russian authorities release Navalny’s body

17:00 , Holly Evans

More than 75,000 people have sent letters to the Russian investigative committee demanding that Alexei Navalny’s body is returned to his family, according to a human rights group.

Mr Navalny’s mother, Lyudmila Navalnaya, 69, demanded the return of her son’s body yesterday, making a direct plea to Vladimir Putin outside the “Polar Wolf” penal colony where the Russian opposition figure was killed.

Tens of thousands have written to demand Navalny’s body is returned to his family (AP)
Tens of thousands have written to demand Navalny’s body is returned to his family (AP)

But Russia’s investigative committee have said they plan to hold his body for two weeks to carry out examinations into his death. Mr Navalny’s wife has said the investigators are using this time to cover the traces of their alleged murder by Novichok poisoning.

Russian human rights group OVD-Info said it has recorded 76, 207 letters sent to the investigators committee calling for Mr Navalny’s release.

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

16:30 , Holly Evans

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.

The New York Times, which has collected together some of the late Russian dissident’s correspondence from jail, Navalny worked hard to stay in touch with global politics from his cell at the “Polar Wolf” penal colony, around 1,000 miles northeast of Moscow.

The staunch opponent of Vladmir Putin also read voraciously from Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Chekhov and Solzhenitsyn to occupy his mind and prevent himself from sinking into despair amid the brutal conditions in which he was held.

Read the full article here:

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

White House to hit Russia with ‘major sanctions’ in response to Navalny’s death

16:00 , Holly Evans

The White House has announced that a new package of sanctions against Russia is set to go into effect following the death of opposition leader Alexei Navalny in a Siberian prison camp.

The administration said the package would be released on Friday. This comes after President Joe Biden’s comments to reporters on Monday that he was considering new sanctions.

“We already have sanctions, but we are considering additional sanctions, yes,” he said.

Read the full article here

White House to hit Russia with ‘major sanctions’ in response to Navalny’s death

Trump says his $355m fraud penalty is ‘a form of Navalny’

15:30 , Holly Evans

Donald Trump has said that being hit with a $350m judgement following his recent high profile fraud case was “a form of Navalny,” in reference to the jailing and apparent murder of the late Russian dissident.

The former president said that the ruling by New York judge Arthur Engoron – who he described as a “nut job” – was “a form of communism or fascism”.

On Friday, Judge Engoron found that Mr Trump, his sons, their Trump Organization associates and Trump properties were liable for tens of millions of dollars after defraudng banks and investors as part of a decade-long scheme to secure favourable financing terms for some of his brand-building properties.

Read the full article here:

Trump says his $355m fraud penalty is ‘a form of Navalny’

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

14:50 , Holly Evans

Romanian foreign ministry summons Russian ambassador over Navalny's death

14:14 , Holly Evans

The Romanian foreign ministry summoned the Russian ambassador over the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, it said on Wednesday.

The ministry underlined the need for a transparent, independent investigation of Navalny’s death, and said Russian authorities had a moral obligation to return his body to his family, it said in a statement.

Alexei Navalny's mother files lawsuit with a Russian court demanding release of her son's body

13:30 , Tom Watling

The mother of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has filed a lawsuit at a court in the Arctic city of Salekhard contesting officials’ refusal to release her son’s body

Alexei Navalny's mother files lawsuit with a Russian court demanding release of her son's body

Britain sanctions leaders of ‘Polar Wolf’ prison camp where Alexei Navalny died

13:00 , Tom Watling

Britain has sanctioned the leaders of the “Polar Wolf” prison camp in Russia where opposition leader Alexei Navalny died.

Days after Mr Navalny’s death, the UK imposed travel bans and asset freezes on six individuals heading up the notoriously brutal FKU IK-3 prison camp.

Britain is the first country to impose measures in response to the politician’s death, which has been widely blamed on the Kremlin by western countries.

Britain sanctions leaders of ‘Polar Wolf’ prison camp where Alexei Navalny died

Sunak says government ‘considering all options for Putin’ after Alexei Navalny’s death

12:40 , Tom Watling

Rishi Sunak has confirmed the UK and its allies are “considering all options” to hold Russia and Vladimir Putin to account after the death of Alexei Navalny.

He made the comments during a session of Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday 21 February.

“[Navalny] died for a cause to which he dedicated his whole life - freedom,” Mr Sunak said, calling his decision to return to Russia “one of the most courageous acts of our time”.

Sir Keir Starmer also paid tribute to Navalny and shared his “disgust” over the 47-year-old’s death.

Sunak says government ‘considering all options for Putin’ after Navalny’s death

Sunak and Starmer pay tribute to Alexei Navalny after Putin critics death

12:17 , Tom Watling

Sunak and Starmer pay tribute to Alexei Navalny after Putin critics death

UK sanctions heads of Arctic penal colony where Navalny died

12:00 , Tom Watling

Britain has imposed sanctions on six individuals in charge of the Arctic penal colony where Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny died last week.

Those sanctioned, including the head and five deputy heads of the penal colony, will be banned from the UK and have their assets frozen, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said.

“It’s clear that the Russian authorities saw Navalny as a threat and they tried repeatedly to silence him,” Cameron said in a statement.

“Those responsible for Navalny‘s brutal treatment should be under no illusion - we will hold them accountable.”

Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron (left) meets Foreign Minister Ruben Ramirez Lezcano at the Palacio Lopez in Asuncion during his visit to Paraguay (PA)
Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron (left) meets Foreign Minister Ruben Ramirez Lezcano at the Palacio Lopez in Asuncion during his visit to Paraguay (PA)

Jailed Navalny team member issues first message since opposition figure’s death

11:53 , Tom Watling

Jailed Russian opposition figure Lilia Chanysheva, a member of Alexei Navalny’s team, has issued her first message following the death of the 47-year-old lawyer.

Ms Chanysheva, who was detained in November 2021 on extremism-related charges, posted a picture of her and Mr Navalny together on Telegram. She was the first member of Mr Navalny’s team to be arrested after his organisation was labelled “extremist” by the Putin regime.

“Censorship does not allow me to say everything I think about the death of Alexei Navalny,” she wrote alongside the photo. “My condolences to your loved ones and parents. I’m grieving.”

Over the past few days, other jailed Russian activists have been issuing public messages of support for Mr Navalny, having heard about his death days after it actually happened.

Lilia Chanysheva stands with Alexei Navalny prior to her arrest in 2021 (Telegram)
Lilia Chanysheva stands with Alexei Navalny prior to her arrest in 2021 (Telegram)

Tens of thousands demand Russian authorities release Navalny’s body

11:20 , Tom Watling

More than 75,000 people have sent letters to the Russian investigative committee demanding that Alexei Navalny’s body is returned to his family, according to a human rights group.

Mr Navalny’s mother, Lyudmila Navalnaya, 69, demanded the return of her son’s body yesterday, making a direct plea to Vladimir Putin outside the “Polar Wolf” penal colony where the Russian opposition figure was killed.

But Russia’s investigative committee have said they plan to hold his body for two weeks to carry out examinations into his death. Mr Navalny’s wife has said the investigators are using this time to cover the traces of their alleged murder by Novichok poisoning.

Russian human rights group OVD-Info said it has recorded 76, 207 letters sent to the investigators committee calling for Mr Navalny’s release.

In this grab taken from video, Lyudmila Navalnaya, mother of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, center, pay tribute to her son Alexei Navalny at the at the memorial to victims of political repression, in Salekhard (AP)
In this grab taken from video, Lyudmila Navalnaya, mother of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, center, pay tribute to her son Alexei Navalny at the at the memorial to victims of political repression, in Salekhard (AP)

Czech foreign ministry summons Russian ambassador over Navalny's death -news agency

10:50 , Tom Watling

The Czech Foreign Ministry summoned the Russian ambassador over the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, CTK news agency has said.

X/Twitter bans Alexei Navalny’s widow Yulia Navalnaya for breaking its rules

10:10 , Tom Watling

X, formerly known as Twitter, briefly banned the account of Alexei Navalny’s widow.

Yulia Navalnaya set up her account on Monday, days after Mr Navalny’s death was announced. She has since used it to commit to holding Russian president Vladimir Putin to account.

On Tuesday afternoon, however, the account disappeared. It was replaced with a message indicating that it had been suspended because it had broken the site’s rules.

X briefly bans Alexei Navalny’s widow Yulia Navalnaya account by mistake

Alexei Navalny's mother files lawsuit with a Russian court demanding release of her son's body

09:38 , Tom Watling

The mother of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has filed a lawsuit at a court in the Arctic city of Salekhard contesting officials’ refusal to release her son’s body, Russia’s state news agency Tass reported Wednesday.A closed-door hearing has been scheduled for March 4, the report said, quoting court officials.Lyudmila Navalnaya has been trying to retrieve her son’s body since Saturday, following his death in a penal colony in Russia’s far north a day earlier. She has been unable to find out where his body is being held, Navalny‘s team reported.Navalnaya appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin Tuesday to release her son’s remains so that she could bury him with dignity.

“For the fifth day, I have been unable to see him. They wouldn’t release his body to me. And they’re not even telling me where he is,” a black-clad Navalnaya, 69, said in the video, with the barbed wire of Penal Colony No. 3 in Kharp, about 1,900 kilometers (1,200 miles) northeast of Moscow.

In this grab taken from video provided by the Navalny Team on Tuesday. Feb. 20, 2024, Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny's mother Lyudmila Navalnaya speaks, near the prison colony in the town of Kharp (AP)
In this grab taken from video provided by the Navalny Team on Tuesday. Feb. 20, 2024, Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny's mother Lyudmila Navalnaya speaks, near the prison colony in the town of Kharp (AP)

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

08:54 , Tom Watling

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.

Who is Yulia Navalnaya: Putin’s next political threat

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

08:19 , Tom Watling

Former US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday 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.

Democratic President Joe Biden and other Western leaders have blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for Navalny‘s death, as has Nikki Haley, who trails far behind Trump as his sole remaining rival for the Republican presidential nomination.

“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,” 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.

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

Trump - who has expressed admiration for 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,” 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, Trump 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.

Republican presidential candidate, former US President Donald Trump speaks during a Fox News town hall (Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate, former US President Donald Trump speaks during a Fox News town hall (Getty Images)

Long Read | Alexei Navalny – the man who knew too much

07:02 , Andy Gregory

“The reason why it all happened is one man’s hatred and fear – one man hiding in a bunker. I mortally offended him by surviving an attempt at my life he ordered. And then I committed an even more serious offence: I didn’t go into hiding. And that’s driving this thieving little man in his bunker out of his mind.”

So declared the accused from behind his courtroom cage as he prepared to be sentenced to jail. His crime was to have challenged the man in the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin, with the one tool remaining, the power of speech.

That act of defiance exactly three years ago, was the beginning of the end of the life of Alexei Navalny.

John Kampfner reports:

Alexei Navalny – the man who knew too much

US pushing for ‘complete transparency’ over Navalny’s death, says White House

06:45 , Namita Singh

Speaking to reporters on a conference call, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said the United States is pressing Russia for “complete transparency” on how Alexei Navalny died last Friday.

“Whatever story the Russian government decides to tell the world, it’s clear that President Putin and his government are responsible for Mr Navalny’s death,” Mr Kirby said.

The US embassy in Moscow has been seeking more information about Navalny’s death, Mr Kirby said, “but it’s difficult to get a point where you can be confident in what the Russians would say about his death”.

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

06:30 , Namita Singh

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

Cameron to set out consequences for Russia over Navalny's death

06:01 , Namita Singh

The UK is poised to set out its response to the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, with foreign secretary Lord Cameron telling Vladimir Putin: “We match our words with actions”.

Lord David Cameron will also condemn Russia’s war in Ukraine and stress the need for nations to adhere to the rules-based international order when he speaks at a meeting of foreign ministers from the G20 nations in Rio on Wednesday.

“We need to adapt international rules and institutions to the challenges we face today. This means reforming the rules-based international order, not shattering it,” said Lord Cameron as he takes aim at what he sees as a litany of hypocrisy from the Kremlin over Ukraine.

“The Kremlin pays lip service to concepts like sovereignty, while openly undermining them. Unlike Russia, we match our words with actions.”

Lord Cameron’s Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov is expected to be among the foreign ministers at the G20 gathering.

Navalny's mother appeals to Putin to release her son's body so she can bury him with dignity

05:45 , Namita Singh

The mother of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny appealed on Tuesday to president Vladimir Putin to intervene and turn her son’s body over to her so she can bury him with dignity.

Lyudmila Navalnaya, who has been trying to get his body since Saturday, appeared in a video outside the Arctic penal colony where Navalny died on Friday.“For the fifth day, I have been unable to see him. They wouldn’t release his body to me. And they’re not even telling me where he is,” Ms Navalnaya said in the video, with the barbed wire of Penal Colony No 3 in Kharp, about 1,900km northeast of Moscow.

In this grab taken from video provided by the Navalny Team on Tuesday. 20 February 2024 (AP)
In this grab taken from video provided by the Navalny Team on Tuesday. 20 February 2024 (AP)

“I’m reaching out to you, Vladimir Putin. The resolution of this matter depends solely on you. Let me finally see my son. I demand that Alexei’s body is released immediately, so that I can bury him like a human being,” she said in the video, which was posted to social media by Navalny’s team.

Ms Navalnaya and her son’s lawyers went to law enforcement agencies and the morgue where the body is believed to be held in the Arctic region, but were unable to get them to turn it over or say where it is.

EU summons Russian envoy, demands independent investigation into Navalny’s death

05:30 , Namita Singh

The European Union summoned Russia’s representative to the EU and called for an independent international investigation into the death of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, the EU’s diplomatic service said on Tuesday.

It said Michael Siebert, a senior official in the European External Action Service, also urged Russia to release Navalny’s body to his family without further delay at the meeting with Kirill Loginov, Russia’s acting permanent representative to the EU.

A person lights a candle by a portrait of late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who died in a Russian Arctic prison, placed at the entrance of the Chancery of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Pristina on 20 February 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)
A person lights a candle by a portrait of late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who died in a Russian Arctic prison, placed at the entrance of the Chancery of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Pristina on 20 February 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)

“The EU side conveyed the EU’s outrage over the death of the Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, for which the ultimate responsibility lies with President (Vladimir) Putin and the Russian authorities,” it said.

Mr Siebert “called upon Russia to allow an independent and transparent international investigation into circumstances” of Navalny’s death, it added.

The Kremlin has denied involvement in Navalny’s death and says Western allegations that Putin was responsible are unacceptable. Russia’s Investigative Committee says it has launched a procedural investigation into the death, and the Kremlin has said it does not bow to EU demands.

More than 60,000 requests issued for Kremlin to release Navalny’s body, monitoring group says

05:20 , Namita Singh

Since Alexei Navalny’s death, about 400 people have been detained across in Russia as they tried to pay tribute to him with flowers and candles, according to OVD-Info, a group which monitors political arrests.

Authorities cordoned off some of the memorials to victims of Soviet repression across the country that were being used as sites to leave makeshift tributes to Navalny. Police removed the flowers at night, but more keep appearing.

Peskov said police were acting “in accordance with the law” by detaining people paying tribute to Navalny.

Over 60,000 people have submitted requests to the government asking for Navalny’s remains to be handed over to his relatives, OVD-Info said.

People came to lay flowers for Alexei Navalny at the Solovetsky Stone, a monument to political repression in Moscow (AFP via Getty Images)
People came to lay flowers for Alexei Navalny at the Solovetsky Stone, a monument to political repression in Moscow (AFP via Getty Images)

Navalny issued chilling warning about second Trump term

05:10 , Namita Singh

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.

Joe Sommerlad has more:

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

Trump ‘needs Putin’s help and can’t risk angering him’

05:00 , Namita Singh

Donald Trump’s reaction to Alexei Navalny’s death suggests he “can’t risk” angering Russia’s Vladimir Putin, according to former Republican representative Liz Cheney.

Ms Cheney noted on X on Monday afternoon that “Donald Trump still won’t condemn the [Aleksei] Navalny killing or blame Putin. At the same time, Trump is claiming Putin-style tyrannical immunity in his US Supreme Court briefs”.

She added that it “seems like Trump thinks he needs Putin’s help with something and can’t risk angering him”.

Read the full report:

Trump ‘needs Putin’s help and can’t risk angering him’, Liz Cheney suggests

White House calls for 'complete transparency' over Navalny’s death

04:50 , Namita Singh

The White House on Tuesday issued a statement calling for “complete transparency” from Russia on how Alexei Navalny died last Friday.

“Whatever story the Russian government decides to tell the world, it’s clear that President Putin and his government are responsible for Mr Navalny’s death,” National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said.

The US embassy in Moscow has been seeking more information about Navalny’s death, Mr Kirby said, “but it’s difficult to get to a point where you can be confident in what the Russians would say about his death”.

Russia sanctions will be broad, including sources of economic revenue, White House says

04:40 , Namita Singh

The US will issue fresh sanctions on Russia that will cover a range of items, including the country’s defence and industrial bases along with sources of revenue for the economy, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Tuesday.

The sanctions come in the wake of the death of opposition leader Alexei Navalny and the two-year Ukraine war.

This grab taken from video shows flowers and a portrait of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny that Lyudmila Navalnaya, mother of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, put to pay tribute to her son at the at the memorial to victims of political repression, in Salekhard, 1,937 km northeast of Moscow, Russia (AP)
This grab taken from video shows flowers and a portrait of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny that Lyudmila Navalnaya, mother of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, put to pay tribute to her son at the at the memorial to victims of political repression, in Salekhard, 1,937 km northeast of Moscow, Russia (AP)

White House preparing ‘major sanctions’ against Russia

04:30 , Namita Singh

The White House said it is preparing additional “major sanctions” against Russia in response to Alexei Navalny’s death, with National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby saying the new package would be unveiled on Friday. He declined to detail them or share how they would expand on the already stiff measures the US and its allies have put on Russia.

Mr Kirby said only that the sanctions, which coincide with the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, will be “specifically supplemented with additional sanctions regarding Mr Navalny’s death”.

Arrests of Navalny mourners ‘in accordance with law’, says Peskov

04:10 , Namita Singh

Since Alexei Navalny’s death, about 400 people have been detained across Russia as they tried to pay tribute to him with flowers and candles, according to OVD-Info, a group that monitors political arrests.

Authorities cordoned off some of the memorials to victims of Soviet repression across the country that were being used as sites to leave makeshift tributes to Navalny. Police removed the flowers at night, but more keep appearing.

Women lay flowers at the Memorial to Victims of Political Repression to pay respect to Alexei Navalny in St Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, 20 February 2024 (AP)
Women lay flowers at the Memorial to Victims of Political Repression to pay respect to Alexei Navalny in St Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, 20 February 2024 (AP)

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said police were acting “in accordance with the law” by detaining people paying tribute to Navalny.

Over 60,000 people have submitted requests to the government asking for Navalny’s remains to be handed over to his relatives, OVD-Info said.

Navalnaya urges EU not to recognise results of looming Russian elections

03:50 , Andy Gregory

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.

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

03:30 , Namita Singh

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

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

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

03:15 , Namita Singh

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

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.

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

02:44 , Andy Gregory

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

01:34 , Andy Gregory

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.

Navalny’s death has shown one Republican up as a coward

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

00:39 , Andy Gregory

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.”

Critics like Navalny need support from West, says Alexander Litvinenko’s widow

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

Tuesday 20 February 2024 23:46 , Andy Gregory

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:

Who is Yulia Navalnaya: Putin’s next political threat

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

Tuesday 20 February 2024 22:40 , Andy Gregory

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

Tuesday 20 February 2024 21:40 , Andy Gregory

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:

Navalny mother’s plea to Putin: Give me my son’s body so I can bury him with dignity

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

Tuesday 20 February 2024 20:34 , Andy Gregory

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:

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

EU summons Russia’s representative, calls for international probe into Navalny death

Tuesday 20 February 2024 20:03 , Andy Gregory

The European Union has summoned Russia’s representative to the bloc and called for an independent international investigation into the death Alexei Navalny.

The EU’s diplomatic service said a senior Brussels figure had also urged Russia to release Navalny’s body to his family without further delay at the meeting with Kirill Loginov, Russia’s acting permanent representative to the EU.

“The EU side conveyed the EU’s outrage over the death of the Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, for which the ultimate responsibility lies with President Putin and the Russian authorities,” it said.

Italy summons Russian ambassador over Navalny’s death

Tuesday 20 February 2024 18:39 , Andy Gregory

Italy’s foreign ministry has summoned the Russian ambassador over the death of opposition politician Alexei Navalny, a spokesperson for the ministry has said.

Yulia Navalnaya hits back at Kremlin response to allegations of husband’s killing

Tuesday 20 February 2024 17:16 , Andy Gregory

Yulia Navalnaya has responded after Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov sought to characterise her accusations that her husband had been poisoned as “absolutely unfounded, insolent accusations about the head of the Russian state”.

In her most recent post on X/Twitter, Ms Navalnaya said: “I don't care how the killer’s press secretary comments on my words. Give back Alexei’s body and let him be buried with dignity, don’t stop people from saying goodbye to him.

“And I really ask all journalists who may still ask questions: don’t ask about me, ask about Alexei.”

Full report: White House to hit Russia with ‘major sanctions’ in response to Navalny’s death

Tuesday 20 February 2024 16:59 , Andy Gregory

The White House has announced that a new package of sanctions against Russia is set to go into effect following the death of opposition leader Aleksei Navalny in a Siberian prison camp.

White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said existing sanctions will be “specifically supplemented with additional sanctions regarding Mr Navalny’s death”.

While he noted that the US doesn’t yet know Mr Navalny’s cause of death, Mr Kirby went on to put the blame Mr Putin, telling reporters: “Regardless of the scientific answer, Putin’s responsible for it.”

My colleague Gustaf Kilander reports from Washington, DC:

White House to hit Russia with ‘major sanctions’ in response to Navalny’s death

US to announce major sanctions package this week

Tuesday 20 February 2024 16:32 , Andy Gregory

The US will announce a major package of Russian sanctions on Friday in response to the death of Alexei Navalny, the White House has said.

The package will “hold Russia accountable for what happened to Mr. Navalny” and for its actions over the course of the war in Ukraine, national security spokesperson John Kirby told reporters.

Alexei Navalny’s mother Lyudmila Navalnaya lays flowers for her son

Tuesday 20 February 2024 15:47 , Andy Gregory

The mother of Alexei Navalny laid flowers for her son as she made a direct appeal to Vladimir Putin to release his body, reports my colleague Lucy Leeson.

Lyudmila Navalnaya, 69, was seen laying a bouquet of white flowers next to a picture of her son.

X says Yulia Navalnaya’s account was suspended by ‘mistake’

Tuesday 20 February 2024 15:15 , Tom Watling

Social media site X has claimed it suspended the account of Yulia Navalnaya after mistakenly flagging it as “violating our rules”.

“Our platform’s defense mechanism against manipulation and spam mistakenly flagged

@yulia_navalnaya  as violating our rules,” it wrote.

“We unsuspended the account as soon as we became aware of the error, and will be updating the defense.”

They did not clarify in what way they mistakenly believed Ms Navalnaya had broken the rules.

Protests, poisoning and prison: The timeline of Alexei Navalny’s life and his opposition to Vladimir Putin

Tuesday 20 February 2024 15:10 , Tom Watling

Alexei Navalny, a thorn in the side of the Kremlin and Russia’s most prominent political dissident, has died in prison at the age of 47.

Navalny, a fierce critic of Russian president Vladimir Putin, had been sentenced to 19 years in a penal colony around 40 miles of the Arctic Circle in charges widely thought to be politically motivated.

The 47-year-old felt unwell after a walk at the jail and lost consciousness. An ambulance arrived to try to rehabilitate him, but he died, according to prison authorities.

Protests, poisoning and prison: The life of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny

Poland summons Russian ambassador over Navalny death

Tuesday 20 February 2024 14:42 , Tom Watling

Poland’s Foreign Ministry has said it had summoned Russia’s ambassador over the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

“The ministry called on Russian authorities to take responsibility for the death of Alexei Navalny and conduct a full and transparent investigation to determine the circumstances and cause of his death,” the ministry said in a statement.

Watch: Alexei Navalny’s mother makes direct plea to Vladimir Putin to release son’s body

Tuesday 20 February 2024 14:05 , Tom Watling

Alexei Navalny’s mother has issued a video appeal directly to Vladimir Putin for the release of her son’s body.

In a recorded message outside the “Polar Wolf” Arctic Circle penal colony on Tuesday (20 February), Lyudmila Navalnaya said: “I appeal to you, Vladimir Putin, because the solution to this problem depends only on you.

“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.”

Russian authorities have said they will not return Mr Navalny’s body for two weeks while they continue investigating his death.

Alexei Navalny’s mother makes direct plea to Vladimir Putin to release son’s body

Yulia Navalnaya’s X account restored

Tuesday 20 February 2024 13:34 , Tom Watling

Yulia Navalnaya’s X account has been restored just minutes after it was suspended.

The wife of Alexei Navalny created an account on Monday, quickly amassing nearly 100,000 followers.

Russia opens a new criminal case against Alexei Navalny’s brother -Tass

Tuesday 20 February 2024 13:23 , Tom Watling

Russia has initiated a new criminal case against Oleg Navalny, the brother of dead Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, the Tass state news agency reported on Tuesday.

TASS did not say under which article of the criminal code the case had been opened, but said police were searching for Oleg Navalny. who was already on the wanted list in connection with another matter.

In 2014, Oleg Navalny was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for fraud in a case Kremlin critics said was trumped up and designed to pile pressure on his late brother.

X/Twitter bans Alexei Navalny’s widow Yulia Navalnaya for breaking its rules

Tuesday 20 February 2024 13:17 , Tom Watling

X, formerly known as Twitter, has banned the account of Alexei Navalny’s widow.

Yulia Navalnaya set up her account on Monday. She has since used it to commit to holding Russian president Vladimir Putin to account.

X/Twitter bans Alexei Navalny’s widow Yulia Navalnaya for breaking its rules

Alexei Navalny – the man who knew too much

Tuesday 20 February 2024 13:05 , Tom Watling

For a decade and more, he and his team deployed a mix of tenacity and mockery to probe the Mafia-style financial links between those at the top of Russian politics, security and business, writes John Kampfner. Frozen out of state-controlled mainstream media, Navalny used every digital platform and every social media channel available to shine a light on Putin’s corrupt regime, surviving multiple poisonings and incarceration until he was finally – and inevitably – silenced by his greatest foe...

Alexei Navalny – the man who knew too much

X, formerly Twitter, suspends Yulia Navalnaya’s account

Tuesday 20 February 2024 12:57 , Alexander Butler

X, formerly Twitter, has suspended the account of Alexei Navalny’s widow. It is unclear why the social media network has removed her profile.

Yulia Navalnaya joined the platform on Monday, where she vowed to carry on the work of her husband and hold Russian president Vladimir Putin to account.

Mrs Navalnaya accused Putin of killing her husband with novichock poison and said evidence would be provided over the next few days. The Kremlin denied any involvement in his death.

X, formerly Twitter, has suspended the account of Alexei Navalny’s widow Yulia Navalnaya (X)
X, formerly Twitter, has suspended the account of Alexei Navalny’s widow Yulia Navalnaya (X)

Alexei Navalny’s widow meets with European Council president in Brussels

Tuesday 20 February 2024 12:37 , Tom Watling

European Council president, Charles Michel, met with the widow of Alexei Navalny in Brussels on Monday 19 February, where she is also due to meet EU Foreign Affairs Ministers.

Yulia Navalnaya vowed to continue her late husband’s fight against the Kremlin while authorities denied his mother access to a morgue where Mr Navalny’s body is believed to be held after his death last week at an Arctic penal colony.

Russian authorities said that the cause for his death on Friday at age 47 is still unknown.

Mr Navalny had been jailed since January 2021, when he returned to Russia after recuperating in Germany from poisoning with a Novichok-type nerve agent that he blamed on the Kremlin.

Alexei Navalny’s widow meets with European Council president in Brussels

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

Tuesday 20 February 2024 12:07 , Tom Watling

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.

Critics like Navalny need support from West, says Alexander Litvinenko’s widow

Navalny’s mother makes direct plea to Vladimir Putin for her son’s body to returned

Tuesday 20 February 2024 11:42 , Tom Watling

The mother of Alexei Navalny has made a direct plea to Vladimir Putin for her son to be returned.

In a video released on YouTube, Lyudmila Navalnaya, 69, standing outside the “Polar Wolf” Arctic Circle penal colony where Mr Navalny died, said: “I appeal to you, Vladimir Putin, because the solution to this problem depends only on you.

“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.”

Yulia Navalnaya makes renewed plea for her husband’s body to be returned

Tuesday 20 February 2024 11:26 , Tom Watling

The wife of Alexei Navalny has made a renewed demand for her husband’s body to be returned to her “to be buried with dignity”.

Addressing comments by Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, in which she called Yulia “boorish” for her accusations that they had murdered her husband with Novichok, Ms Navalnaya said: “I don’t care how the killer’s press secretary comments on my words.

“Give back Alexei’s body and let him be buried with dignity, don’t stop people from saying goodbye to him.

“And I really ask all journalists who may still ask questions: don’t ask about me, ask about Alexey.”

Read Yulia Navalnaya’s full speech at the EU Foreign Affairs Council

Tuesday 20 February 2024 11:15 , Tom Watling

You can read the full Yulia Navalnaya speech at the European Union Foreign Affairs Council below.

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

Tuesday 20 February 2024 11:00 , Tom Watling

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.

Who is Yulia Navalnaya: Putin’s next political threat

Moscow court rejects jailed US journalists’ appeal

Tuesday 20 February 2024 10:45 , Tom Watling

Jailed US journalist Evan Gershkovich has appeared in a Moscow Court today to appeal the extension of his pre-trial detention - but it has been rejected.

The rejection of the latest appeal by the journalist’s lawyers means he is set to remain behind bars until at least 30 Marc, which would mark more than a year since he was taken into custody on an allegation of espionage that the WSJ and the US government vehemently deny.

“The Moscow City Court having considered the appeal against the ruling on the extension of the period of detention in respect of Evan Gershkovich left the court ruling unchanged and the appeal without satisfaction,” a statement read. “Gershkovich will remain in custody until March 30.”

US journalist Evan Gershkovich, arrested on espionage charges, looks out from inside a defendants’ cage before a hearing to consider an appeal on his extended pre-trial detention, at the Moscow City Court in Moscow on 20 February, 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)
US journalist Evan Gershkovich, arrested on espionage charges, looks out from inside a defendants’ cage before a hearing to consider an appeal on his extended pre-trial detention, at the Moscow City Court in Moscow on 20 February, 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)

Putin did not watch Yulia Navalnaya's video statement, Kremlin says

Tuesday 20 February 2024 10:33 , Tom Watling

Russian President Vladimir Putin did not watch Yulia Navalnaya’s video statement, but her assertion that her late husband Alexei Navalny was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent is unfounded, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said.

Asked about Navalnaya’s claim that Putin had killed her husband, Peskov said that he would not comment given that Navalnaya had recently been widowed.

But Peskov said that in general accusations that Putin was responsible for Alexei Navalny‘s death were absolutely unfounded and obnoxious.

Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures while speaking at a news conference following a meeting of the State Council at the Kremlin in Moscow, (Sputnik)
Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures while speaking at a news conference following a meeting of the State Council at the Kremlin in Moscow, (Sputnik)

Wife of jailed Russian opposition figure praises ‘superhuman’ Yulia Navalnaya

Tuesday 20 February 2024 10:15 , Tom Watling

The wife of jailed Russian opposition figure Vladimir Kara-Murza has praised the “superhuman effort” of Alexei Navalny’s spouse, Yulia Navalnaya, following the death of her husband.

Evgenia Kara-Murza, whose husband is currently serving a 25-year sentence in a Siberian penal colony in conditions near identical to what Alexei Navalny had been subjected to, applauded Yulia for “her fortitude and resilience”.

“Walking through hell with your head held high and a firm belief in your strength requires almost superhuman effort,” she wrote on X, sharing a speech by Ms Navalnaya.

“Like millions of people, I mourn with Yulia Navalnyana and admire her fortitude and resilience. And I share her rage.

CCTV appears to show Alexei Navalny’s body being transported in midnight convoy

Tuesday 20 February 2024 10:00 , Tom Watling

CCTV cameras appear to show a Russian convoy transporting Alexei Navalny’s body from prison to a morgue.

The camera footage filmed overnight on 16 and 17 February, the same day as Navalny’s death, has been released by the Russian media outlet.

Cameras show the convoy crossing the Ob River south of Labytnangi, which is the only road between the Kharp prison and the Salekhard morgue, where it’s reported the politician‘s body is being held.

Mr Navalny’s mother, Lyudmila Navalnaya, and his lawyers say they have been denied entry to the morgue to see his body.

CCTV appears to show Alexei Navalny’s body being transported in midnight convoy

Appeal of Alexei Navalny’s wife could prolong his legacy, says friend of family

Tuesday 20 February 2024 09:38 , Tom Watling

The appeal of Alexei Navalny’s wife to continue the fight of her dead husband has rejuvenated a Russian dissident community still mourning the loss of its figurehead, a friend of the Navalny family has told The Independent.

On Monday, in a nine-minute video message laced with rage, Yulia Navalnaya, 47, said she would continue the fight of her husband for a “free Russia” and called on supporters to oppose President Vladimir Putin with greater fury than ever.

Grigori Chkhartishvili, the Russian-Georgian novelist who earlier this month was charged by a Moscow court in absentia for “justifying terrorism, said Yulia’s message was encouraging.

“Many were in despair after Alexei’s death, the prevailing mood was ‘there is no hope now’,” he said. “Yulia’s appeal changed the tide completely. Now everyone is full of hope and energy again.

“If she really goes into politics it might make a big difference. It would mean that killing Alexei  would prove to be Putin’s mistake.”

He added: “Yulia has two potential capabilities. She is the only figure who can unite the divided opposition factions. And what’s even more important she appeals– on personal level – to many Russians who are now politically indifferent. Because she is attractive, emotional, because she is a woman, and because her story is powerful.

“We’ll see soon whether her declaration was made on the spur of the moment or whether it was in earnest. I hope it is the latter.”

Leading Kremlin critic  Alexei Navalny’s widow Yulia Navalnaya takes part in a meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Brussels, Belgium, on 19 February 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)
Leading Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s widow Yulia Navalnaya takes part in a meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Brussels, Belgium, on 19 February 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)

Jailed Russian opposition figure says he found out about Navalny’s death yesterday

Tuesday 20 February 2024 09:00 , Tom Watling

A jailed Russian opposition politician has expressed his anger over the death of Alexei Navalny, having found out only yesterday.

Ilya Yashin was jailed for eight-and-a-half years in December 2022 for spreading false information meant to discredit the Russian army, under a law introduced after Russia launched its invasion.

His arrest came after statements he made on his YouTube channel about war crimes allegedly committed by Russian forces in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha.

Mr Yashin wrote on X: “News comes slowly to the camp barracks, and I only learned about the death of Alexei Navalny yesterday. It’s hard to convey my shock. It’s hard to gather your thoughts. The pain and horror are unbearable.

“Alexey Navalny was my friend. So does Boris Nemtsov. We did a common cause and dedicated our lives to making Russia peaceful, free and happy. Now both my friends are dead. I feel a black emptiness inside. And, of course, I understand my own risks. I’m behind bars, my life is in Putin’s hands, and it’s in danger. But I will continue to stick to my line.

“Standing over Boris’s body in February 2015, I vowed to myself not to be afraid, not to give up and not to run. Nine years later, mourning Alexei, I can only repeat this oath.”

Russian opposition activist and former municipal deputy of the Krasnoselsky district Ilya Yashin gestures, smiling, as he stands in a defendant's cubicle in a courtroom, prior to a hearing in Moscow, Russia, on Dec. 9, 2022 (AP)
Russian opposition activist and former municipal deputy of the Krasnoselsky district Ilya Yashin gestures, smiling, as he stands in a defendant's cubicle in a courtroom, prior to a hearing in Moscow, Russia, on Dec. 9, 2022 (AP)