Navalny’s wife should keep her voice alive, Litvinenko’s widow says Reuters

©Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Marina Litvinenko, widow of former Russian intelligence agent Alexander Litvinenko, takes part in a rally in support of jailed Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny outside the Russian embassy in London, Britain, on April 21, 2021 .

LONDON (Reuters) – Alexei Navalny’s wife Yulia Navalnaya needs to keep her husband’s voice alive, Alexander Litvinenko’s widow said on Saturday after the prominent Kremlin critic’s death.

Russian authorities said Navalny, 47, lost consciousness and died on Friday after a walk in the Arctic penal colony “Polar Wolf” where he was serving a long sentence.

Soon after the news broke, Yulia Navalnaya spoke to leaders at a Western security meeting in Munich, blaming Russian President Vladimir Putin for her husband’s death and demanding that Putin and his government be held accountable.

“Yulia Navalnaya did very right things because her husband Alexei was so famous in Russia and abroad and she needs to keep his voice alive and now she is his voice,” Marina Litvinenko told Reuters.

Marina Litvinenko’s late husband, Alexander Litvinenko, a former KGB officer and defector who had become a vocal critic of the Kremlin, died in 2006 three weeks after drinking green tea laced with polonium-210 in a London hotel. The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2021 that Russia was responsible for the assassination.

Litvinenko said she was shocked by the news of Navalny’s death. She said she had a “very small hope” that Navalny could get out of prison and start his political career if Putin’s government collapsed.

“The international community must be stronger and not just use good words to express regret and sympathize with the Navalny family, but take concrete action,” Litvinenko said.

Many Western leaders expressed outrage over Navalny’s death, in what Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called an unacceptable response. British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said Britain would take action over Navalny’s death, although he did not say what such action would entail.

In Russia, at least 340 people have been detained at small events in 30 cities since Navalny’s death, according to a Russian rights group.

“When we see even a small protest, even a small reaction to the death of Alexei Navalny, I think it is very serious. We still have people who have not been brainwashed,” Litvinenko said.

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