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Alexei Navalny died of natural causes, according to Russian death certificate

Alexei Navalny's mother, Lyudmila Navalnaya, accused Russian investigators on Thursday of planning to bury her son in secret without a funeral, and said she would not agree to it. She has been shown his body and death certificate, which Navalny aides said attributes his demise to natural causes.

Alexei Navalny's mother says Russian officials are pressuring her to hold a private burial

An older woman in glasses and shoulder-length hair is shown in closeup.

Alexei Navalny's mother, Lyudmila Navalnaya, accused Russian investigators on Thursday of planning to bury her son in secret without a funeral, and said she would not agree to it.

"They want this to be done secretly, with no farewell. They want to bring me to the edge of a cemetery, to a fresh grave and say: 'Here lies your son.' I don't agree to this," she said in a YouTube video.

There was no immediate response from Russian investigators.

Navalny, 47, Russia's best-known opposition politician, died suddenly in an Arctic penal colony last week. His aides and family have alleged that the Kremlin murdered him, an allegation the Kremlin has rejected.

His mother said she had been shown his body and death certificate. Navalny's aides said the death certificate stated that the opposition politician had died of natural causes.

WATCH l Navalny's Canadian documentarian on his legacy:

What Navalny wanted supporters to do if he died: ‘Get back to work’

6 days ago

Duration 7:51

In Daniel Roher’s documentary, Alexei Navalny told his supporters his death would be a sign of the opposition’s strength. The Canadian director told The National’s Ian Hanomansing Navalny would want his supporters not to mourn his death, but fight Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Navalny's mother said she had been taken to a morgue on Wednesday evening to see his body.

"The investigators claim that they know the cause of death, they have all the medical and legal documents ready, which I saw, and I signed the medical death certificate," she said, dressed in black and speaking in a calm voice.

"According to the law, they should have given me Alexei's body right away, but they have not done so until now. Instead, they are blackmailing me, setting me conditions on where, when and how Alexei should be buried. This is illegal."

Navalny's mother said: "I'm recording this video because they started threatening me. Looking into my eyes, they say that if I don't agree to a secret funeral, they will do something with my son's body."

She quoted one of the investigators as saying: "Time is not on your side, corpses decompose."

"I don't want special conditions," she said. "I just want everything to be done according to the law. I demand that my son's body be returned to me immediately."

U.S. plans sanctions

The Kremlin has said it had nothing to do with Navalny's death, and that the circumstances are being investigated. President Vladimir Putin has yet to comment on it.

During Putin's time as Russian president, several politicians, dissidents and whistleblowers have died untimely or sudden deaths.

LISTEN l Hear from two Russia analysts on what's next for anti-Putin forces:

The Current18:57The precarious state of Putin’s opposition after Navalny’s death

Before his death, Alexei Navalny was the most visible symbol of the opposition to Vladimir Putin in Russia. Now, the opposition is in a precarious state. Matt Galloway speaks with Navalny’s friend and Putin critic Boris Akunin, a celebrated Russian author; and political scientist Jan Matti Dollbaum, co-author of Navalny.

Several world leaders, including U.S. President Joe Biden, have said they hold Putin responsible for Navalny's death, given he was subjected to harsh conditions in prison sentences many in the West have characterized as politically motivated. Navalny also survived a poisoning attempt in 2020.

The White House has said it is planning a round of Russian sanctions, specifically tied to Navalny's death, to be announced as early as Friday.

WATCH l U.S. to impose more sanctions against Russia:

U.S. vows to deliver new sanctions against Russia

7 hours ago

Duration 2:03

Ahead of the two-year anniversary of Russia's Ukraine invasion, the U.S. is set to impose additional sanctions against Russia following the death of imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny. The sanctions are anticipated to cover many elements including the country's sources of revenue for the Russian economy.

With files from CBC News

Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

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