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Alexei Navalny’s burial is confirmed to take place at Borisovskoye Cemetery in Moscow on Friday, following a farewell ceremony at a local church. Yulia Navalnaya, his widow, expressed uncertainty about the funeral’s peacefulness and the potential for police interference.

Navalny, a prominent critic of Vladimir Putin, died unexpectedly in a Siberian prison earlier this month, sparking accusations against the Russian president from his widow and many world leaders. Details surrounding Navalny’s death remain scant, with Russian authorities initially resisting releasing his body to his family.

Funeral arrangements faced obstacles, with some funeral homes refusing service due to the deceased’s identity. Yulia Navalnaya addressed the European Parliament, criticizing Russia’s actions in Ukraine and advocating for a more effective strategy against Putin.

The funeral date was adjusted due to logistical challenges, with Navalny’s team urging attendees to arrive early. Security concerns loom over the event, given recent arrests of those paying tribute to Navalny across Russia. Allegations surfaced of a potential prisoner swap involving Navalny, but the Kremlin denies any knowledge of such arrangements.

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Maria Pevchikh, an ally of Alexei Navalny, revealed that plans were underway for Navalny’s release in a prisoner exchange deal. The exchange was intended to involve Vadim Krasikov, a Russian serving a life sentence in Germany for murder, along with two detained US citizens in Russia. Negotiations for this swap had been ongoing for two years but gained momentum after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Concrete plans for the exchange were reportedly made in December, with American and German officials involved in the talks.

However, according to Pevchikh, Russian President Vladimir Putin changed his mind at the last minute, leading to Navalny’s sudden death in prison. Pevchikh claimed that Putin’s deep-seated animosity towards Navalny, driven by the perceived threat he posed to Putin’s power, motivated the decision to sabotage the deal. Despite the existence of a firm agreement, Putin allegedly opted to eliminate Navalny rather than allow him to be released.

These revelations come amid continued speculation and international scrutiny surrounding Navalny’s death. While the German government has refrained from commenting on Pevchikh’s claims, the Kremlin has yet to provide an official response. However, Dmitry Peskov, President Putin’s spokesperson, had previously dismissed allegations of government involvement in Navalny’s death as absurd.

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Lyudmila Navalnaya, the mother of Alexei Navalny, stated in a video that she was shown her son’s body by Russian authorities, but they are pressuring her to agree to a “secret” burial. She reported signing a death certificate at a morgue. Navalny’s press secretary mentioned a medical report indicating natural causes, while his widow believes he was killed by Russian authorities. Navalnaya expressed frustration at officials refusing to hand over her son’s body and alleged blackmail, stating that they are dictating conditions for the burial. She demanded the return of Navalny’s body and claimed threats from authorities.

Navalnaya met with US President Joe Biden along with Navalny’s widow and daughter in San Francisco. Biden praised Navalny’s courage and anti-corruption efforts, announcing forthcoming sanctions on Russia. Navalny died in a penal colony on February 16, purportedly after falling ill during a walk, though his widow accuses Putin of ordering his killing. The Kremlin denies involvement, dismissing Western reactions as “hysterical.”

Analysts suggest that showing Navalnaya the body aims to negotiate a non-politicized funeral. Navalny was previously poisoned with Novichok in 2020, survived after treatment in Germany, then imprisoned upon returning to Russia in 2021. Russian authorities have aggressively cracked down on attempts to commemorate Navalny’s death, detaining hundreds and removing makeshift memorials.

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According to reports, at least 60 Russian soldiers were killed in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region when two missiles struck a training area where troops had gathered for the arrival of a senior commander, Maj-Gen Oleg Moiseyev. The incident occurred just before a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, during which Shoigu claimed Russian successes in various areas of the front line. The soldiers, members of the 36th motorised rifle brigade, were allegedly instructed by their commanders to stand in an open field, where they were hit by missiles fired from a US-made HIMARS launch system. Video footage and images from the scene showed numerous dead soldiers.

Separately, reports emerged about the death of military blogger Andrey Morozov, known as Murz, who allegedly took his own life after being pressured by the military to remove a report detailing Russian losses in recent battles. Morozov claimed that about 16,000 troops had been killed or seriously injured, and 300 armored vehicles destroyed. The exact circumstances of Morozov’s death could not be independently verified.

Russia’s military seldom reports casualties, but some pro-Russian military bloggers have regularly provided such information. Ukraine has also spoken about significant casualties among Russian troops. A collaborative effort between BBC Russian and the Mediazona website has updated figures for confirmed deaths in the Russian military over the two years since the invasion of Ukraine, with a total of 45,123 confirmed dead, including 6,614 since October of the previous year.

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The family of Alexei Navalny, a prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin who recently died in a Russian prison, has reportedly been informed that his body will not be released for two weeks. According to a representative for Navalny, his mother was told that his body is being held for “chemical analysis”. Despite efforts to locate the body, there has been no confirmation of its whereabouts from Russian authorities, and attempts to find it have been repeatedly blocked. Navalny’s wife has accused Russian authorities of concealing his body and alleged that it is being held until traces of Novichok, the nerve agent used in a previous poisoning attempt on Navalny, disappear.

In a video statement, Navalny’s wife, Yulia Navalnaya, accused President Putin of being responsible for her husband’s death and called on viewers to join her in seeking justice. Navalny’s death was announced on Friday, with authorities stating that he had never regained consciousness after collapsing during a walk in the Siberian penal colony where he was imprisoned. His mother and lawyer rushed to the colony upon hearing the news, but their attempts to locate the body have been thwarted by prison officials and local authorities.

The Kremlin has stated that an investigation into Navalny’s death is ongoing, but no results have been reported thus far. Navalny’s spokeswoman has said that investigators informed Navalny’s mother that the body would not be released for two weeks due to “chemical analysis”.

Western leaders have blamed President Putin for Navalny’s death and are considering imposing new sanctions on Russia in response. The UK Foreign Secretary has indicated that Britain and other G7 nations are likely to impose fresh sanctions on individuals implicated in Navalny’s death. However, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has dismissed these statements as “arrogant” and “unacceptable”, while Russian prison authorities have attributed Navalny’s death to “sudden death syndrome”.

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Yulia Navalnaya, widow of the Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny, has directly accused President Vladimir Putin of bearing responsibility for her husband’s demise. Through a video shared on Navalny’s social media platforms, Navalnaya unequivocally stated that Putin had “killed the father of my children” and robbed her of her “closest and most beloved person.”

Navalnaya further criticized Russian authorities for allegedly concealing Navalny’s body, insinuating that they were attempting to obscure the true cause of death. She suggested that they might be waiting for any potential traces of a Novichok poisoning to dissipate, referencing Navalny’s previous poisoning with the nerve agent in August 2020. This incident had been later linked to an FSB hit squad, as uncovered by a joint investigation by CNN and Bellingcat.

Despite Navalnaya’s strong assertions, she did not provide any evidence to substantiate her claim that a second poisoning led to her husband’s recent death in an Arctic penal colony. The circumstances surrounding Navalny’s demise remain unclear, with the Kremlin acknowledging an ongoing investigation into the matter. As of now, the results of this investigation are yet to be determined.

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Alexei Navalny, the prominent opposition figure in Russia, has tragically passed away in a jail located in the Arctic Circle, according to the prison service. Navalny, who had been a vocal critic of President Vladimir Putin, was serving a 19-year sentence on charges of extremism that many believed to be politically motivated. His death has sparked outrage and accusations of foul play from his allies and supporters.

Navalny’s wife, Yulia, has called on the international community to hold the Russian regime accountable for his death. His close ally, Ivan Zhdanov, has suggested that Navalny may have been murdered, a sentiment echoed by many who oppose Putin’s government.

Navalny’s sudden decline in health occurred shortly after a walk, according to the prison service. Despite efforts to resuscitate him, Navalny could not be revived.

In response to Navalny’s death, there have been calls for protests in Russia, although authorities have warned against participating in such demonstrations. Several individuals have already been detained in various cities.

Navalny’s death has drawn condemnation from leaders around the world, with many pointing fingers at Putin’s government for its alleged role in his demise. US President Joe Biden, among others, has held Putin responsible for what he called “proof of Putin’s brutality.”

Navalny’s journey as an opposition figure in Russia has been marked by challenges and dangers, including a poisoning incident in August 2020 with a nerve agent. Despite facing multiple obstacles, Navalny remained determined to challenge Putin’s rule, even as his health deteriorated and he endured harsh conditions in prison.

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Russia’s election commission has rejected Boris Nadezhdin, an anti-war challenger, as a candidate in the upcoming presidential election, citing flaws in the signatures submitted with his candidate application. Despite his efforts to contest the decision, the commission upheld its ruling. Nadezhdin, however, vowed to challenge the decision in the Supreme Court.

The commission stated that over 9,000 signatures out of the 105,000 submitted by Nadezhdin were invalid, leaving him just short of the required 100,000 valid signatures. Nadezhdin expressed frustration, claiming widespread support and citing polls that positioned him as the second most favored candidate after Putin.

Nevertheless, the commission chairwoman, Ella Pamfilova, declared the decision final, suggesting that Nadezhdin could pursue legal action if he wished. The election is scheduled for March 15-17, with Vladimir Putin expected to secure victory as opposition candidates perceived as Kremlin-friendly dominate the race.

Despite the setback, Nadezhdin remained resolute, asserting that his candidacy was a crucial political decision. He had garnered significant support, amassing over 200,000 signatures nationwide. Nadezhdin, known for his appearances on state-run TV as an anti-war figure, emphasized his commitment to ending the conflict in Ukraine and normalizing Russia’s relations with the West.

Although his candidacy initially faced skepticism from some opposition figures, prominent voices like Alexei Navalny and Mikhail Khodorkovsky endorsed Nadezhdin’s campaign. However, pro-Kremlin commentators accused him of being a pawn for “Ukrainian Nazis,” reflecting the divisive nature of his candidacy.

Nadezhdin’s bid for the presidency echoes previous attempts by candidates to run on an anti-war platform, underscoring the prevalent sentiment of opposition to Russia’s involvement in Ukraine. Despite being barred from the race, Nadezhdin’s campaign resonated with segments of Russian society, particularly those affected by the conflict.

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Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson has announced plans to conduct a one-on-one interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. Carlson stated that he aims to provide Americans with a deeper understanding of the conflict in Ukraine, which he believes mainstream media coverage has failed to deliver. He emphasized his personal funding of the trip, highlighting his commitment to independent journalism.

This interview would mark President Putin’s first engagement with a Western journalist since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Carlson’s decision to pursue this interview underscores the significance of the conflict and the need for diverse perspectives in understanding its complexities. It also reflects a departure from traditional media channels, as Carlson intends to broadcast the interview live and unedited on his social media platform, X.

Critics have raised concerns about the potential risks and ethical implications of such an interview, given Putin’s track record and the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. However, Carlson remains steadfast in his belief that Americans deserve access to unfiltered information about the conflict. The interview is expected to spark significant interest and debate, shaping public discourse on both sides of the Atlantic.

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Boris Nadezhdin, a Kremlin challenger, has declared that he has successfully gathered the required number of signatures to officially stand as a candidate in Russia’s upcoming presidential election. The former local councillor is notable for his outspoken criticism of President Putin and Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Nadezhdin claims to have submitted over 100,000 signatures to the electoral authorities, a crucial step in the electoral process.

The electoral commission will now review Nadezhdin’s application, and if approved, he will join the race against current President Vladimir Putin. Putin has already registered as an independent candidate and is widely expected to secure another six-year term in the presidential election scheduled for March. Despite the dominance of Putin in Russian politics, Nadezhdin’s candidacy represents a challenge to the status quo.

In a country where opposition figures often face imprisonment or worse, Nadezhdin’s ability to openly criticize Putin without severe repercussions has been noteworthy. The former local councillor, who served for more than 30 years, recently accused Putin of undermining key institutions in Russia and expressed a commitment to ending the conflict in Ukraine if elected.

Thousands of Russians have shown their support for Nadezhdin by braving the cold to add their signatures to his candidacy. Nadezhdin shared a photo on social media, standing in front of boxes containing the signatures, emphasizing the collective effort of his supporters. The grassroots backing highlights a degree of public sentiment that extends beyond established political norms.

Russia’s political landscape has been dominated by Vladimir Putin since 2000, and a constitutional amendment passed in 2020 allows him to potentially remain in power until 2036 if re-elected in 2030. Nadezhdin’s candidacy, along with his critique of Putin’s leadership, adds an element of diversity to a political scene that has long been characterized by Putin’s enduring influence.

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