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Kremlin denies demands for independent autopsy of Alexei Navalny

Kremlin officials rejected the international call for an independent autopsy to be performed on Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny on Tuesday. This comes after The Council of the European Union released a statement declaring that Russia “must allow an independent and transparent international investigation into circumstances of his sudden death” on Monday. The council continued to say “Mr. Navalny’s unexpected and shocking death is yet another sign of the accelerating and systematic repression in Russia.”

European leaders, as well as United States President Joe Biden, remain firm that Russian President Vladimir Putin is behind this unjust murder. However, a spokesperson for Putin announced that “Moscow does not accept such demands” from the European Union on Tuesday.

Navalny’s widow, Yulia Navalnaya, launched an account on X, formerly known as Twitter, where she posted a video directly accusing Putin of murdering her husband and hiding his remains. She suspects that poison may have been used to end her husband’s life. This led to her account being briefly suspended on X but later reinstated. Navalny’s family is campaigning for his remains to be returned and are adamant about fighting against the Kremlin. The family has taken to X to post updates on their legal efforts to be reunited with Navalny and properly investigate his death.

“For the fifth day I cannot see him, they aren’t giving me his body and don’t even tell me where he is,” Navalny’s mother, Lyudmila Navalnaya, said in the blustering snow outside the prison where her son died on Friday, “I appeal to you, Vladimir Putin. Resolving this issue depends on you alone. Let me finally see my son… I demand the immediate handing over of Alexei’s body, so that I can give him a humane burial.”

The White House will not remain silent and intends to introduce harsher sanctions against Russia. “Whatever story the Russian government decides to tell the world, it’s clear that President Putin and his government are responsible for Mr. Navalny’s death,” National Security Spokesman John Kirby said, “In response, at President Biden’s direction, we will be announcing a major sanctions package on Friday of this week.” It is important to note that The United States has already enacted sanctions against Russia in response to the war in Ukraine.

Navalny’s family remains vocal and persistent in the pursuit of justice as the world mourns alongside them. Over 300 people have been detained in Russia for paying their respects to Putin’s foe.

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