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HomeGeneralAlexei Navalny’s Wife Pens Tribute to Him as Authorities Detain Russians at...

Alexei Navalny’s Wife Pens Tribute to Him as Authorities Detain Russians at Rallies

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A picture of Alexei and his wife.
Source: MiaFarrow/X

Yulia Navalnaya posted an emotional tribute to her husband, Russian activist Alexei Navalny, on social media Sunday. Accompanied by a tender photo showing the couple in silhouette with their heads bent together, she simply captioned it, “I love you.”

Navalnaya’s post marks her second public comment since news of her husband’s death shocked Russia and the international community on Friday.

Initially hesitant to believe the news due to her distrust of the Russian government led by Vladimir Putin, the 47-year-old economist expressed her determination to seek justice for her husband if the reports of his demise were confirmed.

Speaking at a security conference in Munich, she vowed to pursue accountability. “I want Putin, those around him, Putin’s friends, and his government to know they will be held responsible for what they have done to our country, my family, and my husband—and that day will come very soon,” she said.

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Navalnaya, married to Navalny for 23 years, had chosen to remain out of the political limelight as her husband garnered international recognition for his vocal opposition to Putin.

Following Navalny’s poisoning with a Russian nerve agent in 2020, her steadfast insistence persuaded Russian authorities to allow him to receive treatment in Germany, a decision that ultimately saved his life.

Navalny’s return to Russia in early 2021, despite the certainty of arrest, was a bold move in his ongoing defiance of the government. After returning, he was serving a 19-year sentence in an Arctic penal colony when reports emerged that he had “fallen down and died” on Friday.

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His spokesperson asserted that Navalny was murdered by Putin’s government, a claim echoed by President Joe Biden. Following the events, hundreds of Russians were detained by police during rallies and memorials held across the country in Navalny’s memory.

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From major cities like St. Petersburg and Moscow to remote villages in Siberia, supporters gathered to lay flowers and light candles in his honor, often at memorials dedicated to victims of Soviet-era repression.

Protests are illegal in Russia, and law enforcement warned citizens against attending rallies for Navalny. However, the widespread public support indicates that even in the absence of its leader, the movement persists.

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“I want to call on the entire international community, everyone in this room, people around the world, to unite together and defeat this evil, defeat the appalling regime that is now in Russia,” Navalnaya said on Friday.

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She is set to participate in the European Union foreign affairs council on Monday to address her husband’s case, as confirmed by the bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Sunday.

The whereabouts of Mr. Navalny’s body remain uncertain. His mother and lawyer visited the Salekhard morgue on Saturday, where they were informed his body was located, only to find it closed and empty. At that time, Mr. Navalny’s spokesperson alleged that Russian authorities were intentionally withholding his body to obscure evidence of his murder.

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