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Allies of Aleksei Navalny Claim His Body Has Been Returned to His Mother

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The body of Russian opposition leader, Aleksei A. Navalny, has been transferred to his mother after a battle for custody between his family and the authorities. His spokeswoman confirmed the handover of the body and expressed uncertainty about whether a funeral that the public can attend will be allowed. Mr. Navalny’s mother, Lyudmila Navalnaya, is still in Salekhard, with details of the funeral to be released by Mr. Navalny’s team as they become available.

Accusations have been made against Russian authorities for attempting to pressure the family into agreeing to a secret funeral. Despite a deadline that passed without new information, the circumstances of Mr. Navalny’s death remain unclear. The news that Ms. Navalnaya had custody of the body suggested that authorities had relented following a social media campaign by Mr. Navalny’s team.

Mr. Navalny’s widow, Yulia Navalnaya, released a video denouncing President Vladimir V. Putin for his role in the situation. The question now is how Mr. Navalny’s funeral will proceed, with concerns that a public funeral in Moscow could become a rallying point for protests. The Kremlin’s actions in this situation demonstrate their fears about potential unrest surrounding Mr. Navalny’s death.

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Photo credit www.nytimes.com

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