Alexei Navalny death latest: Putin promotes prison official accused of torturing opposition leader

Alexei Navalny death latest: Putin promotes prison official accused of torturing opposition leader

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Navalny’s widow claims he was poisoned with novichok nerve agent

Vladimir Putin has promoted a prison official accused of torturing Alexei Navalny during his final stint in jail, it has been revealed.

First deputy head of the Federal Penitentiary Service Valery Boyarinev was awarded the military rank of Colonel General of the Internal Service on Monday, just three days after Mr Navalny died in an Arctic Circle penal colony.

In June 2023, it was revealed at a court hearing that Boyarinev had ordered the IK-6 penal colony where Mr Navalny was being held to limit the amount with which the opposition figure could buy food in custody.

Ivan Zhdanov, the director of Mr Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, posted an image detailing the order this morning. On X, he wrote: “Personal reward for torture and murder from Putin.”

It comes as Alexei Navalny’s mother has been told she must wait 14 days to receive her son’s body as authorities conduct a “chemical examination”, his spokesperson and allies have said.

The move will raise suspicions that the leading Vladimir Putin critic was poisoned, with his wife Yulia Navalnaya alleging as much on Monday.

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Moscow court rejects jailed US journalists’ appeal

Jailed US journalist Evan Gershkovich has appeared in a Moscow Court today to appeal the extension of his pre-trial detention – but it has been rejected.

The rejection of the latest appeal by the journalist’s lawyers means he is set to remain behind bars until at least 30 Marc, which would mark more than a year since he was taken into custody on an allegation of espionage that the WSJ and the US government vehemently deny.

“The Moscow City Court having considered the appeal against the ruling on the extension of the period of detention in respect of Evan Gershkovich left the court ruling unchanged and the appeal without satisfaction,” a statement read. “Gershkovich will remain in custody until March 30.”

US journalist Evan Gershkovich, arrested on espionage charges, looks out from inside a defendants’ cage before a hearing to consider an appeal on his extended pre-trial detention, at the Moscow City Court in Moscow on 20 February, 2024

(AFP via Getty Images)

Tom Watling20 February 2024 10:45

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Putin did not watch Yulia Navalnaya’s video statement, Kremlin says

Russian President Vladimir Putin did not watch Yulia Navalnaya’s video statement, but her assertion that her late husband Alexei Navalny was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent is unfounded, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said.

Asked about Navalnaya’s claim that Putin had killed her husband, Peskov said that he would not comment given that Navalnaya had recently been widowed.

But Peskov said that in general accusations that Putin was responsible for Alexei Navalny‘s death were absolutely unfounded and obnoxious.

Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures while speaking at a news conference following a meeting of the State Council at the Kremlin in Moscow,

(Sputnik)

Tom Watling20 February 2024 10:33

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Wife of jailed Russian opposition figure praises ‘superhuman’ Yulia Navalnaya

The wife of jailed Russian opposition figure Vladimir Kara-Murza has praised the “superhuman effort” of Alexei Navalny’s spouse, Yulia Navalnaya, following the death of her husband.

Evgenia Kara-Murza, whose husband is currently serving a 25-year sentence in a Siberian penal colony in conditions near identical to what Alexei Navalny had been subjected to, applauded Yulia for “her fortitude and resilience”.

“Walking through hell with your head held high and a firm belief in your strength requires almost superhuman effort,” she wrote on X, sharing a speech by Ms Navalnaya.

“Like millions of people, I mourn with Yulia Navalnyana and admire her fortitude and resilience. And I share her rage.

Tom Watling20 February 2024 10:15

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CCTV appears to show Alexei Navalny’s body being transported in midnight convoy

The camera footage filmed overnight on 16 and 17 February, the same day as Navalny’s death, has been released by the Russian media outlet.

Cameras show the convoy crossing the Ob River south of Labytnangi, which is the only road between the Kharp prison and the Salekhard morgue, where it’s reported the politician‘s body is being held.

Mr Navalny’s mother, Lyudmila Navalnaya, and his lawyers say they have been denied entry to the morgue to see his body.

CCTV appears to show Alexei Navalny’s body being transported in midnight convoy

CCTV cameras appear to show a Russian convoy transporting Alexei Navalny’s body from prison to a morgue. The camera footage filmed overnight on 16 and 17 February, the same day as Navalny’s death, has been released by the Russian media outlet. Cameras show the convoy crossing the Ob River south of Labytnangi, which is the only road between the Kharp prison and the Salekhard morgue, where it’s reported the politician’s body is being held. Mr Navalny’s mother, Lyudmila Navalnaya, and his lawyers say they have been denied entry to the morgue to see his body.

Tom Watling20 February 2024 10:00

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Appeal of Alexei Navalny’s wife could prolong his legacy, says friend of family

The appeal of Alexei Navalny’s wife to continue the fight of her dead husband has rejuvenated a Russian dissident community still mourning the loss of its figurehead, a friend of the Navalny family has told The Independent.

On Monday, in a nine-minute video message laced with rage, Yulia Navalnaya, 47, said she would continue the fight of her husband for a “free Russia” and called on supporters to oppose President Vladimir Putin with greater fury than ever.

Grigori Chkhartishvili, the Russian-Georgian novelist who earlier this month was charged by a Moscow court in absentia for “justifying terrorism, said Yulia’s message was encouraging.

“Many were in despair after Alexei’s death, the prevailing mood was ‘there is no hope now’,” he said. “Yulia’s appeal changed the tide completely. Now everyone is full of hope and energy again.

“If she really goes into politics it might make a big difference. It would mean that killing Alexei  would prove to be Putin’s mistake.”

He added: “Yulia has two potential capabilities. She is the only figure who can unite the divided opposition factions. And what’s even more important she appeals– on personal level – to many Russians who are now politically indifferent. Because she is attractive, emotional, because she is a woman, and because her story is powerful.

“We’ll see soon whether her declaration was made on the spur of the moment or whether it was in earnest. I hope it is the latter.”

Leading Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s widow Yulia Navalnaya takes part in a meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Brussels, Belgium, on 19 February 2024

(AFP via Getty Images)

Tom Watling20 February 2024 09:38

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Jailed Russian opposition figure says he found out about Navalny’s death yesterday

A jailed Russian opposition politician has expressed his anger over the death of Alexei Navalny, having found out only yesterday.

Ilya Yashin was jailed for eight-and-a-half years in December 2022 for spreading false information meant to discredit the Russian army, under a law introduced after Russia launched its invasion.

His arrest came after statements he made on his YouTube channel about war crimes allegedly committed by Russian forces in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha.

Mr Yashin wrote on X: “News comes slowly to the camp barracks, and I only learned about the death of Alexei Navalny yesterday. It’s hard to convey my shock. It’s hard to gather your thoughts. The pain and horror are unbearable.

“Alexey Navalny was my friend. So does Boris Nemtsov. We did a common cause and dedicated our lives to making Russia peaceful, free and happy. Now both my friends are dead. I feel a black emptiness inside. And, of course, I understand my own risks. I’m behind bars, my life is in Putin’s hands, and it’s in danger. But I will continue to stick to my line.

“Standing over Boris’s body in February 2015, I vowed to myself not to be afraid, not to give up and not to run. Nine years later, mourning Alexei, I can only repeat this oath.”

Russian opposition activist and former municipal deputy of the Krasnoselsky district Ilya Yashin gestures, smiling, as he stands in a defendant’s cubicle in a courtroom, prior to a hearing in Moscow, Russia, on Dec. 9, 2022

(AP)

Tom Watling20 February 2024 09:00

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Putin awards military rank to Navalny torturer days after death

Vladimir Putin has awarded a prison minister responsible for depriving Alexei Navalny of food during his latest incarceration with the military rank of Colonel General.

First deputy head of the Federal Penitentiary Service Valery Boyarinev was awarded the rank on Monday, just three days after Mr Navalny was killed.

Ivan Zhdanov, director of Mr Navalny’s Anti-Corruption foundation, reposted an image of the order issued by Boyarinev in March 2023 to IK-6 of the Vladimir region to limit the amount with which the Russian opposition figure could buy food in custody.

Vladimir Osechkin, who founded the “No to Gulag” project, has claimed that Boyarinev oversaw the torture of Ukrainian prisoners and Navalny in the Russian prison system.

First deputy head of the Federal Penitentiary Service Valery Boyarinev was awarded the rank of Colonel General on Monday, just three days after Mr Navalny was killed.

(Telegram )

Tom Watling20 February 2024 08:47

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Alexei Navalny – the man who knew too much

For a decade and more, he and his team deployed a mix of tenacity and mockery to probe the Mafia-style financial links between those at the top of Russian politics, security and business, writes John Kampfner.

Frozen out of state-controlled mainstream media, Navalny used every digital platform and every social media channel available to shine a light on Putin’s corrupt regime, surviving multiple poisonings and incarceration until he was finally – and inevitably – silenced by his greatest foe.

Alexei Navalny – the man who knew too much

For a decade and more, he and his team deployed a mix of tenacity and mockery to probe the Mafia-style financial links between those at the top of Russian politics, security and business, writes John Kampfner. Frozen out of state-controlled mainstream media, Navalny used every digital platform and every social media channel available to shine a light on Putin’s corrupt regime, surviving multiple poisonings and incarceration until he was finally – and inevitably – silenced by his greatest foe…

Namita Singh20 February 2024 08:30

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‘There will be consequences,’ says Cameron

Foreign secretary Lord Cameron said he expected the UK and G7 allies to impose fresh sanctions on Russians involved in Alexei Navalny’s death.

Speaking to reporters during his visit to the Falkland Islands, Lord Cameron said: “I think the first thing is just to remember what a great man Alexei Navalny was, and what an appalling regime Putin runs in Russia.

“And yes, there will be consequences. What we do in these situations is we look at how someone’s human rights have been damaged and the individual people that caused that, and we’re able to go after those people with particular measures.

“Now we never pre-announce sanctions in advance, I can’t do that.

“But what I can tell you is at the G7 foreign ministers’ meeting in Munich, I pressed that the United Kingdom will be doing that and I urged other countries to do the same. And I believe very much that both those things will happen.”

Namita Singh20 February 2024 08:15

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In video: Foreign affairs minister stresses Navalny’s death was a ‘murder’

Foreign Affairs minister stresses Navalny’s death was a ‘murder’

Alicia Kearns urged MPs to label Alexei Navalny’s death as a murder, while in Commons on Monday, 19 February. “Alexei Navalny was murdered and it is important that we in this House call it out for what it was, because that is what he deserves.” the Foreign Affairs Committee chairwoman said. “Following his murder, I was also in Munich, where I heard his wife Yulia (Navalnaya) ask us to stand by her. That is what we must now do.” Leo Docherty, the UK Minister for Europe, agreed with the description, saying: “She is right to use the word murder. We do seek to hold the state and the Russian leadership to account.”

Namita Singh20 February 2024 08:00

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