Mother of Alexey Navalny, Kremlin critic, speaks out against pressure for secret funeral

The recent death of Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny in a penal colony has sparked controversy and raised suspicions of foul play. His mother, Lyudmila Navalnaya, claims she was pressured by Russian investigators to hold a secret funeral for her son.

After being denied access to Navalny’s body for days following his death, Lyudmila Navalnaya viewed a medical report stating his cause of death as natural. Navalny’s wife, Yulia Navalnaya, has publicly accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of killing her husband and urged the media not to be swayed by the Russian government’s narrative.

Lyudmila Navalnaya stated that she was threatened and blackmailed to agree to a secret funeral, including being forced to keep it within the family and transport the body to Moscow on a special plane. She was also denied the cemetery of her choice. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has remained silent on these allegations.

US President Joe Biden recently met with Navalny’s wife and daughter in California, offering his condolences for Navalny’s death. Navalny, a prominent critic of Putin, returned to Russia in 2021 after surviving a poisoning attack with Novichok. He was immediately arrested, sentenced to 19 years in prison, and was serving time in a Siberian penal colony when he fell ill and lost consciousness.

Navalny’s death has prompted reactions from Western leaders, with accusations against Putin’s government and calls for investigations into the circumstances surrounding his passing. The controversy surrounding Navalny’s death and the alleged pressure on his family highlight the ongoing political tensions in Russia.

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