Access to Navalny’s body denied for third day. “I love you”, his wife Yulia’s farewell on social media


By John

Alexei Navalny’s collaborators have announced that the Russian authorities have denied the dissident’s family access to his body for the third consecutive day.

Russian authorities’ investigation into Alexei Navalny’s death “has been extended”: the investigators told the mother of the former opposition leader who died in prison last Friday, according to Navalny’s spokeswoman. “It is unknown how long this will go on. The cause of death is still ‘undetermined’. They lie, take time and don’t even hide it,” she wrote on X Kira Yarmysh.

“I love you”. Two words, simple, but which perfectly express the profound affection that bound her to her husband. They are the ones that Yulia Navalnaya entrusted to social media yesterday in her first post after the tragic death of Alexei Navalny: Putin’s number one rival, but for her above all her lifelong companion, who she was close to in all the most difficult moments. difficult. A message accompanied by an image of peaceful everyday life: a romantic photo, taken at a concert, in which Navalny kisses her on the forehead. Looking at it today, it’s a goodbye kiss.

From the remote prison in the far north of Russia where he was unjustly imprisoned, Alexei also often turned to his wife. And it is precisely to her that her latest post on Instagram is dedicated. It’s February 14th, Valentine’s Day: “Between us – he says – there are cities, airport lights, blue snowstorms and thousands of kilometers. But I feel that you are close every second and I love you more and more”.

Just two days later, the news of Navalny’s death outraged the world. Yulia Navalnaya is at the Munich Security Conference. She speaks. “I want – she says – that Putin and all those around him, his friends, his government, know that they will have to take responsibility for what they have done to our country, to my family and to my husband. And this day will come very soon Soon”. Her voice is strained by pain but clear, well articulated.

In recent years, especially after her husband’s arrest, many dissidents hypothesized, and perhaps hoped, that Yulia could take over the reins of an opposition whose main exponents are now almost all in prison or forced into exile. Although she strongly criticizes the repression of the Putin regime, she has not yet launched herself into politics. Will things change now? Hard to say. Of course, Yulia Navalnaya is now known throughout the world and in some way she is already a point of reference for the Russian opposition (so much so that tomorrow she is expected at the EU Foreign Affairs Council). And she is especially so for having been close to her husband in the many storms of her life: the physical attacks suffered in Russia, the first troubles with a justice system controlled remotely from the Kremlin. And then again the terrible poisoning in Siberia, for which the Russian secret services are suspected, and the long convalescence in Berlin. But above all the dissident’s return to Moscow, despite knowing that he would end up straight behind bars. The kiss that the two exchanged at Sheremetyevo airport before Navalny was forced to follow the police is now a symbol of resistance to the regime.

The Kremlin’s shadow looms over Navalny’s death. And even the wife of another dissident, Vladimir Kara-Murza, sentenced to 25 years for having had the courage to stand against the invasion of Ukraine, fears for her husband’s life.
“I believe – Evgenia Kara-Murza told the Press Association – that his life is in danger, as well as that of many other political prisoners in Russian prisons, because these people are kept behind bars, very often with serious pathologies, without treatment adequate medical care. And they are kept this way precisely so that their state of health worsens.”