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

The details of Alexei Navalny’s death remain unclear. His wife, Yulia Navalnaya, says that he was poisoned

Namita Singh,Andy Gregory,Tom Watling
Wednesday 21 February 2024 14:29 GMT
Related: Alexei Navalny’s mother demands Vladimir Putin returns her son’s body

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 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.


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

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

Her appeal came as the Kremlin initiated a new criminal case against Oleg Navalny, signalling its intention to continue the pressure on his family as they seek to mourn the fierce Putin critic

Andy Gregory20 February 2024 21:40

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

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

Late Russian dissident called Republican’s possible return to White House ‘really scary’ prospect

Andy Gregory20 February 2024 20:34

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

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.

Andy Gregory20 February 2024 20:03

Italy summons Russian ambassador over Navalny’s death

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

Andy Gregory20 February 2024 18:39

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

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.”

Andy Gregory20 February 2024 17:16

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

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

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.

Andy Gregory20 February 2024 16:59

US to announce major sanctions package this week

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.

Andy Gregory20 February 2024 16:32

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

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.

Alexei Navalny's mother Lyudmila Navalnaya lays flowers for her son
Andy Gregory20 February 2024 15:47

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

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.

Tom Watling20 February 2024 15:15

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

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

Alexei Navalny was a fierce critic of Russian president Vladimir Putin and has reportedly died behind bars in Arctic Circle prison

Tom Watling20 February 2024 15:10

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