Navalny's body was 'abused' after his death in an Arctic penal colony, says his wife

  • Yulia Navalnaya, the wife of late Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny, addressed the European Parliament.

  • She accused Russian officials of abusing her husband's body.

  • Navalny died suddenly in an Arctic penal colony in February 16.

Yulia Navalnaya, the wife of late Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny, said her husband's body had been abused while awaiting burial.

Addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg Wednesday, Navalnaya accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of killing her husband.

She said that her husband had been "tortured for three years" on Putin's orders, cut off from the outside world, starved, and denied contact with friends and family.

"And then they killed him. Even after that they abused his body and abused his mother," Navalnaya said. The Kremlin has denied any involvement in Navalny's death.

Navalny's mother has claimed that Russian officials refused to release his body for burial and pressured her to hold a private funeral, then finally backed down eight days after his death.

The Kremlin has not yet responded to the allegations.

She said her husband would be buried in Moscow on Friday, but did not know if the event would be peaceful because Russian police might try to arrest those paying their respects.

Navalny, Putin's most powerful critic, died in a Russian penal colony on February 16, where he was being held on charges widely regarded to be politically motivated.

Russian authorities have claimed that he died of natural causes, but Western leaders, including US President Joe Biden, have accused Putin of being behind Navalny's death.

Navalny had for years campaigned against Putin and his inner circle, releasing viral videos exposing their alleged corruption and holding anti-Kremlin rallies.

He was taken abroad for treatment after narrowly escaping death in a poisoning in 2020, then returned to Russia in 2021 and was imprisoned.

Navalnaya told European leaders that sanctions alone would not defeat Putin, and they must emulate her late husband's inventiveness.

"If you really want to defeat Putin, you have to become an innovator," she tells MEPs in Strasbourg. "And you have to stop being boring."

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