Twitter Temporarily Suspends Alexei Navalny’s Widow Amid Putin Criticism

The widow of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was temporarily suspended from X, formerly Twitter, on Tuesday after announcing she would continue her dead husband’s fight against Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian government.

Since Navalny’s death on Friday, Yulia Navalnaya has led a public campaign to pressure the Russian government for the return of her husband’s body, and for cooperation from the international community in holding the Putin government accountable for his death. Russian authorities claim the imprisoned dissident died after a sudden collapse on Friday while serving a 19-year sentence at a prison in Western Siberia.

Navalnaya created an X account on Monday, and posted a video accusing the Kremlin of keeping Navalny’s body in order to hide traces of poisonous substances that may have been used to engineer his death. “They are hiding his body – not showing or giving it to his mother – and they lie. Waiting for the traces of Putin’s latest Novichok to disappear,” she said in the video.

Before his death, Navalny survived at least two known poisoning attempts using the nerve agent Novichok. Russian authorities have reportedly told Navalny’s family that they will retain the body for at least two weeks to conduct “chemical analysis.”

“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,” Navalnaya wrote on X.

Her account was suspended Tuesday after posting a video of Navalny’s mother, Lyudmila Navalnaya, demanding her son’s body be returned to the family. “I’m reaching out to you, Vladimir Putin. The resolution of this matter depends solely on you. Let me finally see my son. I demand that Alexei’s body is released immediately so that I can bury him like a human being,” she said, according to a translation from The Guardian. 

During the suspension, Navalnaya wrote on Telegram that she had been “shadow banned” “Twitter has imposed restrictions on my account, which I opened yesterday,” Navalnaya wrote on Telegram. “Twitter representatives did not comment on what this was about,” she added, noting that followers also reported being unable to find her in searches.

Navalnaya’s account was restored after several hours. X claimed on Tuesday that her account was “mistakenly flagged” by the platform’s mechanism against manipulation and spam.

Hours after news of her husband’s death became public on Friday, Navalnaya spoke at the Munich Security Conference in Germany and called for Putin’s government to be “personally held responsible for all of the atrocities they have committed.”

“I want Putin and his entire circle know that they’ll bear responsibility for what they did with our country and my family and my husband,” she said. “And this day will come very soon.”

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