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Julija Navalnaya: She has announced that she wants to continue her husband's work

Photo: Uncredited / dpa

More than a week after Kremlin opponent Alexei Navalny died in a prison camp, his widow and daughter have urged President Vladimir Putin to hand over the body for a decent burial.

Putin, who describes himself as a devout Christian, mocks the remains of the dead man and displays "open satanism," said widow Yulia Navalnaya in a video message published on Saturday.

»Hand over Alexei.

They tortured him alive and continue to torture him dead,” she said.

"They break every human and divine law."

“Give grandma my father’s body,” wrote Navalny’s daughter Daria on the social network X (formerly Twitter).

Her grandmother Lyudmila Navalnaya said in a video on Thursday that Putin's authorities wanted to force her to attend a secret funeral and threatened to harm the body.

Navalny's widow accused Putin of continuing to torment Alexei's mother and wanting to break her.

Although Putin poses in Russian Orthodox churches with a candle in his hand and kisses icons, he is actually driven by hatred and a desire for revenge, said Yulia Navalnaya.

"No, it's not even hatred, it's Satanism, paganism." But faith is about goodness, about mercy, about redemption.

"And no true Christian could ever do what Putin is doing now with dead Alexei."

At the same time, the 47-year-old condemned Putin's war against Ukraine, for which he also used the church.

The Kremlin chief is leading the campaign against the West by relying on traditional values.

"But you just kill, bomb sleeping civilians at night with rockets that were blessed in the church," said Navalnaya.

The Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, Kirill, is a confidant of Putin and an ardent supporter of the war against Ukraine.

Clergy repeatedly publicly bless rockets.

According to authorities, Navalny died on February 16 in the prison camp with the unofficial name “Arctic Wolf” in the Siberian Arctic region of Yamal.

The circumstances of his death are not clear.

The politician, weakened by the poison attack and repeated solitary confinement in the camp, is said to have collapsed during a tour of the icy prison yard and died despite attempts to resuscitate him.

According to Navalny's team, the death certificate mentions "natural" causes.