Russian authorities have stated opposition chief Aleksei A. Navalny died of pure causes, however are refusing to launch his stays till his household agrees to a “secret funeral,” Mr. Navalny and his spokeswoman stated Thursday.

Lyudmila Navalnaya, Mr Navalny's mom, stated she had been “secretly” taken to a morgue on Wednesday night time, “the place they confirmed me Aleksei”. He was proven a medical report on the dying of Mr Navalny which stated he died of pure causes, according to to the spokeswoman of the Navalny group, Kira Yarmysh.

However Ms Navalnaya, 69, stated she was now locked in a bitter battle with native authorities within the northern Russian city of Salekhard, who, taking orders from Moscow, had did not launch the custody of the stays. She stated the authorities warned that if they didn’t “comply with a secret burial”, then “they are going to do one thing with my son's physique”.

“They’re blackmailing me,” Ms Navalnaya stated in a video posted on her son's YouTube channel. “I set the circumstances the place, when and the way Aleksei needs to be buried.”

The back-and-forth over Mr Navalny's stays displays how pivotal a determine he’s in Russian and international politics – even in dying. Proving that, President Biden met with Mr. Navalny's widow, Yulia Navalnaya, and her daughter, Daria, on Thursday in California, the place Daria, who goes by Dasha, is a scholar at Stanford.

The president expressed his admiration for Mr. Navalny's “extraordinary braveness and his legacy of preventing corruption and for a free and democratic Russia during which the rule of legislation applies equally to all,” in keeping with an announcement from the White Home. The president emphasised that “Mr. Navalny's legacy will proceed via individuals in Russia and world wide mourning his loss and preventing for freedom, democracy and human rights.”

After their assembly, Mr. Biden advised reporters in San Francisco that the USA would announce sanctions on Friday in opposition to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. Mr Biden stated the Russian chief was liable for Mr Navalny's dying.

“We're not giving up,” Mr. Biden added.

The Kremlin appears to worry {that a} funeral drawing the supporters of Mr. Navalny might flip into a focus for the protest. There was no rapid remark from Russian authorities on Lyudmila Navalnaya's claims.

“They need to take me to the sting of a cemetery to a contemporary grave and say, 'Right here is your son,'” Ms. Navalnaya stated in her video from Salekhard, the city closest to the Arctic jail the place Mr. Navalny is being held. died final. week. “I don't agree with that. I need these of you who appreciated Aleksei and take his dying as a private tragedy to have the prospect to say goodbye to him.

Because the drama performed out, President Vladimir V. Putin remained silent on Mr. Navalny and continued a publicity tour that appeared geared towards subsequent month's presidential election — a rubber-stamp enterprise that Mr. Putin is assured to win, however one which the Kremlin is anticipated. to make use of it to reveal the legitimacy of Mr. Putin.

On Thursday, Mr. Putin took a brief flight on a supersonic bomber, a stunt that doubled as an apparent reminder to the West of his nation's standing as a nuclear superpower. Earlier this week, Mr Putin denied warnings from US officers that Russia is perhaps planning to place a nuclear weapon into orbit – however added that Russia's new era of nuclear weapons aimed toward land targets are what “I ought to actually worry.”

Thursday's flight took simply half-hour, the Kremlin stated in an announcement, however the wide-wing vary of the Tu-160M, also called the White Swan in Russia, permits it to achieve the continental United States with two dozen nuclear weapons on board.

Russian state tv confirmed Mr Putin, 71, climbing the steps beneath the enormous warplane, one of many largest and heaviest on the earth, earlier than it left the runway in a discipline of aviation in Kazan, a metropolis east of Moscow. The Kremlin launched a video of Mr Putin's flight which confirmed him sitting within the pilot's seat.

Because the aircraft landed, Mr Putin advised reporters the flight had left impression and praised the newly upgraded bomber as “very dependable”.

Dmitri S. Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, advised state tv that Mr. Putin made the choice to take the flight spontaneously on Thursday when he visited an aviation manufacturing unit in Kazan, the place he inspected 4 modernized bombers Tu -160M.

However since he grew to become Russian president greater than twenty years in the past, Mr. Putin has develop into recognized for publicity stunts designed to forged him as a robust chief of an awesome energy. He has flown in a fighter jet, dived into the ocean in a submarine and guided Siberian cranes to their winter habitat in a motorized cling glider. In 2005, Mr. Putin took a flight in an older model of the Soviet-era bomber, the Tu-160.

Mr. Putin stated nothing publicly about Mr. Navalny's dying final Friday, though Peskov stated the identical day that the president had been knowledgeable.

Different Russian officers, nevertheless, continued to assault Mr. Navalny's motion after his dying. On Thursday, Dmitri A. Medvedev, the previous Russian president and now the deputy head of Mr. Putin's Safety Council, unleashed his wrath on Yulia Navalnaya.

Yulia Navalnaya, who had lengthy prevented the highlight, stated after her husband's dying that she would work to proceed his legacy.

“Have a look at the smiling and pleased face of Navalny's widow,” Mr Medvedev stated in an interview launched on Thursday. “You get the sensation that she was ready for this occasion all these years to develop her political life.”

Yulia Navalnaya dismissed Mr. Medvedev's feedback on the X social platform, calling him “no one.”

However the largest supply of pressure on Thursday centered on what would occur to Mr Navalny's physique and his funeral.

Ivan Zhdanov, an aide to Mr. Navalny, stated that investigators had advised Mr. Navalny's mom that her son's physique needed to be saved outdoors Moscow earlier than burial as a result of they feared {that a} morgue within the Russian capital “could be stormed”.

In an interview printed on YouTube on Thursday, Mr. Zhdanov stated that investigators, beneath orders from Moscow, tried to restrict Mr. Navalny's family members of their alternative of cemetery and funeral corridor. Mr. Zhdanov in contrast the authorities' calls for to the funeral of mercenary chief Yevgeny V. Prigozhin, who was secretly buried in St. Petersburg after main a 24-hour rebellion in opposition to the Kremlin and dying in a crash by aircraft two months later.

“It’s tough to shock us,” stated Mr. Zhdanov. “However it was onerous to think about {that a} mom could be blackmailed with a rotting physique to carry it to Moscow and bury it secretly.”

Zolan Kanno-Youngs contributed report.

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