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    Alexei Navalny death latest: Russia accused of hiding opposition leader’s body to ‘cover traces of murder’

    Alexei Navalny’s wife fights back tears as she calls on world to ‘punish’ Putin

    Alexei Navalny’s team have accused Russian authorities of deliberately hiding the opposition figure’s body to “cover traces” of what they claim is a clear act of murder.

    Mr Navalny, a 47-year-old former lawyer, fell unconscious and died on Friday after a walk at the “Polar Wolf” Arctic penal colony in Kharp, about 1,200 miles northeast of Moscow, where he was serving a three-decade sentence, Russian authorities said.

    Authorities told Mr Nalavny’s mother and his lawyer when they arrived at the colony this morning that his body had been moved to a morgue in Salekhard, a town a two-hour drive from the colony.

    But when they visited the only morgue in Salekhard, they were told that they did not have the body.

    “They are trying to cover traces, this is why they are not giving the body to his family and this is why they are just hiding him from them,” Kira Yarmysh, Mr Navalny’s spokesperson, told the BBC.

    “We know for sure that it wasn’t just a death, it was a murder.”

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    Watch: Alexei Navalny’s mother leaves Russian penal colony where he died

    Lyudmila Navalnaya hung her head as she was led by two people with her.

    No official cause of death for Mr Navalny has been released, however, world leaders have immediately pointed the finger at Vladimir Putin.

    Mr Navalny had been jailed since January 2021, following a nerve agent poisoning which he blamed on the Kremlin.

    A spokesperson for the opposition activist has demanded that “his body is handed over to his family immediately”.

    Watch: Alexei Navalny’s mother leaves Russian penal colony where he died

    The mother of Alexei Navalny has been seen leaving the penal colony in Kharp, where he died. Lyudmila Navalnaya hung her head as she was led by two people with her. No official cause of death for Mr Navalny has been released, however, world leaders have immediately pointed the finger at Vladimir Putin. Mr Navalny had been jailed since January 2021, following a nerve agent poisoning which he blamed on the Kremlin. A spokesperson for the opposition activist has demanded that “his body is handed over to his family immediately”.

    Tom Watling17 February 2024 15:00

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    Moscow police detain mourners laying flowers at Navalny memorial event

    It’s thought that at least 177 people were detained across Friday (16 February) and Saturday (17 February) at events which included the laying of flowers, and protests.

    Passersby filmed on their phones while police were seen carrying people away in Moscow and St Petersburg.

    Authorities have warned Russians against participating in demonstrations.

    No official cause of death has been released for Navalny, but blamed is being shifted towards Vladimir Putin.

    Moscow police detain mourners laying flowers at Navalny memorial event

    Police in Moscow have been spotted detaining mourners showing their support following the death of Alexei Navalny. It’s thought that at least 177 people were detained across Friday (16 February) and Saturday (17 February) at events which included the laying of flowers, and protests. Passersby filmed on their phones while police were seen carrying people away in Moscow and St Petersburg. Authorities have warned Russians against participating in demonstrations. No official cause of death has been released for Navalny, but blamed is being shifted towards Vladimir Putin.

    Tom Watling17 February 2024 14:30

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    Navalny’s team will continue his work, says ally Yarmysh

    Alexei Navalny‘s vision for change in Russia will be kept alive by his team, his ally and spokesperson Kira Yarmysh said in an interview.

    The Kremlin critic, 47, fell unconscious and died on Friday after a walk at the Arctic penal colony where he was serving a long prison sentence, the prison service said.

    “We lost our leader, but we didn’t lose our ideas and our beliefs”, Yarmysh told Reuters via Zoom, speaking from an undisclosed location.

    She said the team holds Russian President Vladimir Putin responsible for what she called Navalny‘s murder.

    Pavel Shumilkin lights candles for a vigil held for Alexei Navalny outside City Hall in San Francisco

    (AP)

    Tom Watling17 February 2024 14:00

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    Update – More than 200 people detained across Russia at rallies in memory of Navalny -rights group

    At least 212 people were detained at events in Russia on Friday and Saturday in memory of Alexei Navalny, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most formidable domestic opponent, who died on Friday, according to rights group OVD-Info.

    It would be the largest wave of arrests at political events in Russia since Sept. 2022, when more than 1,300 were arrested at demonstrations against a “partial mobilisation” of reservists for the military campaign in Ukraine.

    Tom Watling17 February 2024 13:45

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    Navalny’s mother was told her son died of ‘sudden death syndrome’, says Navalny ally

    Alexei Navalny‘s mother and lawyer were told at the prison colony on Saturday that he had died of “sudden death syndrome”, prominent Navalny ally Ivan Zhdanov said on X, formerly Twitter, on Saturday.

    The whereabouts of Navalny‘s body are currently unclear. Navalny‘s spokeswoman said earlier that the cause of death had not yet been determined.

    Tom Watling17 February 2024 13:30

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    Russian authorities rule death of Navalny was not criminal, says allies

    Alexei Navalny’s spokesperson has said that Russian authorities have concluded that there was nothing criminal with the death of the Russian opposition.

    “Only an hour ago, the lawyers were informed that the investigation had been concluded and that something criminal had not been established,” said Kira Yarmysh.

    “They literally lie every time, driving us around in circles and covering their tracks.”

    Tom Watling17 February 2024 13:02

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    Inside the Polar Wolf penal colony in Kharp where Alexai Navalny died

    Tom Watling17 February 2024 12:58

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    At least 177 people detained across Russia at rallies in memory of Navalny -rights group

    At least 177 people were detained at events in Russia on Friday and Saturday in memory of Alexei Navalny, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most formidable domestic opponent, who died on Friday, according to rights group OVD-Info.

    OVD-Info, which reports on freedom of assembly in Russia, said more than 177 people in 21 cities across Russia had been detained at spontaneous rallies and vigils as of 1030 GMT on Saturday.

    OVD-Info said that 99 people had been detained in St Petersburg and 11 in Moscow, the country’s two largest cities, where Navalny‘s mostly educated and urban supporters had been concentrated.

    The group also reported individual arrests in smaller cities across Russia, from the border city of Belgorod, where seven were killed in a Ukrainian missile strike on Thursday, to Vorkuta, an Arctic mining outpost once a centre of the Stalin-era gulag labour camps.

    “In each police department there may be more detainees than in the published lists,” OVD-Info said. “We publish only the names of those people about whom we have reliable knowledge and whose names we can publish.”

    A demonstrator is carried away by Russian authorities after paying tribute in public to Alexei Navalny

    (AP)

    Tom Watling17 February 2024 12:00

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    Alexei’s body is not in the morgue, says spokesperson

    Alexei Navalny’s body is not in the morgue where he was supposedly transferred by investigators after his death, the Russian opposition figure’s spokesperson has said.

    “Alexei’s lawyer and mother arrived at the Salekhard morgue. It is closed, despite the colony’s assurances that it is working and Navalny’s body is there,” wrote Kira Yarmysh on X.

    “The lawyer called the phone number indicated on the door. He was told that he was the seventh person to call today. They don’t have Alexei’s body in the morgue.”

    Tom Watling17 February 2024 11:35

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    Navalny’s body not in morgue near penal colony despite authorities’ claims

    Alexei Navalny’s body has not arrived at the only morgue in Salekhard, the town near to the prison colony where Navalny died, an employee told Reuters by phone on Saturday.

    Earlier, the prison authorities said Mr Navalny’s body had been sent to Salekhard for investigations.

    Navalny’s spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh on Saturday confirmed that Navalny was dead, citing an official notice given to Navalny’s mother, Lydumila, and demanded that Navalny’s body be handed over to his family immediately.

    Tom Watling17 February 2024 11:32

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