Kremlin calls accusations by Navalny’s widow ‘unfounded and vulgar’

Published February 20, 2024
Yulia Navalnaya, wife of late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, attends the Munich Security Conference (MSC), on the day Alexei Navalny’s death was announced, on February 16. — AFP/File
Yulia Navalnaya, wife of late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, attends the Munich Security Conference (MSC), on the day Alexei Navalny’s death was announced, on February 16. — AFP/File

The Kremlin on Tuesday rejected accusations from the widow of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who died in prison last week, after she said President Vladimir Putin was behind his death.

“Of course these are absolutely unfounded and vulgar accusations against the head of the Russian state. But taking into account that Yulia Navalnaya was widowed just days ago, I will not comment,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

In a video address viewed by millions online, the 47-year-old Navalnaya vowed to continue her husband’s fight “for the freedom of our country”.

Peskov also rejected the EU’s call on Monday for an “international investigation” into Navalny’s death following talks in Brussels with Navalnaya hosted by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

“We do not accept such demands in general — all the more so from Mr Borrell,” Peskov said.

Asked about the hundreds of detentions of Russians at events mourning Navalny’s death in recent days, he said: “Law enforcement agencies are acting in accordance with the law.”

He also said that Putin’s decision to decorate with military orders four top officials at the federal penitentiary service on Monday just days after Navalny’s death was part of “normal promotion processes that run their own course”.

Navalny galvanised mass protests against Putin before being jailed in 2021.

He had returned to Russia following treatment in Germany after being poisoned with a Soviet-era nerve agent in Siberia.

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