“Putin Is The Leader Of Organized Criminal Gang”, Says Alexei Navalny’s Wife Yulia Navalnaya

Russian authorities have cracked down on public gatherings in memory of Navalny. (File)

Strasbourg, France:

Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, said on Wednesday that she fears arrests and disruption to her husband’s funeral, scheduled for Friday in Moscow.

Navalnaya’s powerful speech in the European Parliament, in which she attacked Russian leader Vladimir Putin as a “thug” responsible for her husband’s death, drew long-standing acclaim.

“It remains to be seen whether it will end peacefully or whether the police will arrest the people who came to say goodbye to my husband,” Navalnaya said shortly after it was announced that a funeral was scheduled for Friday at a church in Moscow. he told the lawmakers. .

“President Putin is the leader of an organized crime group,” Navalnaya said. “You’re not dealing with politicians, you’re dealing with a bloody mob.”

Russian authorities said Navalny died of natural causes after losing consciousness after a walk in a prison settlement in the Arctic Circle.

His family rejects this claim.

“Alexei was tortured for three years,” Navalnaya told lawmakers. “He starved to death in a small stone cell, cut off from the outside world and denied visits, telephone calls, and even letters.”

“Then they killed him. Then they abused his body,” she said.

Navalny’s body was kept for eight days, which his team believes was an attempt to conceal those responsible for his death and prevent a public burial.

“Putin must be held accountable for everything he did to Alexei,” Navalnaya said.

Russian authorities have cracked down on rallies in memory of Navalny, detaining hundreds of people for laying flowers at monuments.

The opposition leader shot to fame through his anti-corruption campaign, exposing rampant corruption at the top of Putin’s government.

He was arrested in January 2021 when he returned to Russia after receiving treatment in Germany for a poison attack he sustained several months earlier while campaigning against President Putin in Siberia.

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