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Navalny’s Widow Says ‘Mobster’ Putin Must Pay Ahead of Friday Funeral

Reuters
Reuters

The widow of Kremlin foe Alexei Navalny has called on European lawmakers to get creative in how they deal with the “bloody mobster” Vladimir Putin, who she says “must answer” not only for her husband’s death but also the senseless war against Ukraine.

Speaking to the European Parliament on Wednesday, Yulia Navalnaya said that even as she prepares to say her final goodbyes to her husband at a funeral scheduled for Friday, she has to worry about security services sabotaging the event.

The late opposition leader will be laid to rest after a service to be held at 2 p.m. local time at the Church of the Icon of the Mother of God in the Maryino district of Moscow. He’ll be buried in the Borisovskoye cemetery, according to his spokesperson Kira Yarmysh.

“The funeral will take place the day after tomorrow and I’m not sure yet whether it will be peaceful or whether police will arrest those who have come to say goodbye to my husband,” Yulia Navalnaya said in Strasbourg.

Students of at least one Russian university have already complained that they were told they would face “immediate expulsion” if they were caught attending any rallies in the center of Moscow on Feb. 29 or March 1, apparently in reference to events connected to Navalny, according to local reports.

The Hero Rising From Navalny’s Shadow—and Gunning for Putin

Navalny’s mother and his allies have repeatedly warned of a Kremlin-run effort to squash publicity surrounding his funeral, which threatens to steal the spotlight from Putin as he delivers an address to the Federal Assembly this week that will also be broadcast in movie theaters.

Investigators initially tried to coerce Navalny’s mother into having only a “secret” burial for her son, she said last week, alleging that one investigator had even threatened to harm her son’s body. His widow touched upon some of that cruelty in comments to the European Parliament, saying the imprisoned Putin challenger had been “tortured for three years” on the orders of the Kremlin and “starved” behind bars. And then even after Navalny had been “killed,” she said, “they abused his body and abused his mother.”

It was not immediately clear what abuse Navalnaya was referring to, or if she perhaps meant the delay in handing over Navalny’s remains to his family.

“There are tens of millions of Russians who are against war, against Putin, against the evil he brings,” Navalnaya said. “We we must not persecute them. On the contrary, you must work with them. With us,” she said, telling lawmakers they must “innovate” in order to deal with the leader of an “organized criminal gang” like Putin.

“You are not dealing with a politician but with a bloody mobster,” she said.

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