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Biden Met With Navalny’s Widow, Daughter – White House

Russian authorities announced on February 16 that Navalny, 47, had died suddenly in custody.


In this photo courtesy of The White House, obtained on February 22, 2024, US President Joe Biden (C) meets with Yulia Navalnaya (R), widow of Kremlin opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who died last week in a Russian prison, and daughter Dasha Navalnaya (L) in San Francisco, California. (Photo by HANDOUT / WHITE HOUSE / AFP)

 

President Joe Biden said Thursday he met privately in California with the widow and daughter of Kremlin opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who died last week in a Russian prison.

After meeting with Yulia and Dasha Navalnaya in San Francisco, Biden told reporters that the late opponent to President Vladimir Putin was “a man of incredible courage.”

He said that Yulia Navalnaya and her daughter, who studies at Stanford University in California, “are emulating that.”

The widow is “going to continue the fight,” he said. “She’s not giving up.”

Biden also reaffirmed a plan to unveil sanctions on Friday, saying they would be “against Putin, who is responsible for his death.”

A White House statement earlier said that the US president had used his meeting behind closed doors to express “admiration for Alexei Navalny’s extraordinary courage and his legacy of fighting against corruption and for a free and democratic Russia.”

Biden “emphasized that Alexei’s legacy will carry on through people across Russia and around the world mourning his loss and fighting for freedom, democracy and human rights.”

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Russian authorities announced on February 16 that Navalny, 47, had died suddenly in custody.

As one of the last Putin opponents still active in Russia, Navalny galvanized mass protests and won popularity with a series of investigations into state corruption.

He barely survived poisoning with a Soviet-era nerve agent in 2020 and was then jailed in 2021 after returning to Russia following treatment in Germany. He was sentenced to 19 years in prison on extremism charges and sent to IK-3, a harsh penal colony beyond the Arctic Circle known as “Polar Wolf.”

Navalny’s mother, Lyudmila Navalnaya, said Thursday that authorities were trying to force her to carry out his burial in secret.

US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told journalists that Russian authorities should return the campaigner’s body to his mother so that she can “properly memorialize… her son’s bravery and courage and service.”

Earlier, the US government marked the upcoming two-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of pro-Western Ukraine by unsealing charges against a series of wealthy Russians to help cut the “flow of illegal funds that are fueling” Moscow’s war.

AFP