Russian authorities agree to hand over Navalny’s body to his mother

The Russian authorities agreed on Saturday to hand over the body of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who died in prison nine days ago under unclear circumstances, to his mother, the politician’s team reported.

“Alexei’s body was given to his mother. Thank you to everyone who joined us in calling for it,” wrote Kira Yarmish, spokeswoman for the late opponent.

Authorities have increased pressure on the dissident’s mother to accept the funeral planned by the Kremlin. Otherwise, Navalny’s body will be buried in the Arctic Circle prison, where he was transferred shortly before his sudden death last Friday at the age of 47.

The widow of Russian opposition leader Yulia denounced in a video this Saturday that the country’s authorities had not handed over the opponent’s body for nine days. “Return my husband’s body. We want to celebrate his funeral and give him to the earth as God commands, as the Orthodox do. Give us Alexei without conditions,” demanded Yulia Naválnaya.

“I am fully aware that none of this was invented by a researcher from (the city of) Salekhard. At the head of everything is (Russian President Vladimir) Putin,” Navalnaya said.

“The same Putin who likes to show himself as an Orthodox believer,” he added.

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