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Yulia Navalnaya, widow of Alexei Navalny

»Hello! This is Yulia Navalnaya. I'm on this channel for the first time today. I would like to reach out to you. I shouldn't have been in this place. I shouldn't have taken this video. There should be another person in my place. But this man was killed by Vladimir Putin.”

On Monday, the widow of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny posted a video on her husband's YouTube channel. In it she blames ruler Vladimir Putin for the death of the Kremlin critic.

The video repeatedly shows footage of Alexei Navalny at rallies or video messages. His widow describes her husband's work, his career and her support in recent years. The prison conditions in the Russian penal colonies, most recently in the “Polarwolf” prison, are also an issue.

Yulia Navalnaya, widow of Alexei Navalny

»He wasn't given a pen or paper to write a letter to me or our children. He was starved for three years. But he didn't give up. He was always cheering us on, encouraging us, laughing, joking. Not for a second did he doubt what he was fighting for and suffering for. My husband refused to be broken, and that's exactly why Putin killed him. Disgraceful, cowardly, without ever looking him in the eye or even saying his name. They're just as cowardly now hiding his body, not showing it to his mother, not giving her the body."

Russian authorities have remained largely silent about the circumstances of Navalny's death. He collapsed on Friday and died shortly afterwards. According to a report in the opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta, Navalny's body is said to have bruises. A bruise on the chest is said to indicate that resuscitation attempts were actually made. The information cannot yet be confirmed.

In the video, Navalnaya announces that she will continue her husband's work.

Yulia Navalnaya, widow of Alexei Navalny

»We know exactly why Putin killed Alexei three days ago. We will let you know soon. We will certainly find out who exactly committed this crime and how exactly this crime was committed. We will name names and show faces. But the most important thing we can do for Alexei and for ourselves is to fight even more desperately, even more bitterly than before. I know it seems impossible to do more. But it is necessary. (…) I will continue Alexei Navalny's cause to continue fighting for our country. And I urge you to stand with me. Don’t just share the grief and the endless pain that has entangled us and won’t let go.”