Russian police authorities ban access to Navalny's body for two weeks

Government investigators allege that the opposition leader's body must undergo a chemical examination for at least 14 days and prevented the family from seeing the deceased.

The Russian authorities refuse to allow Alexei Navalny's relatives access his body following his death last Friday. Russian government investigators claim that they must carry out a chemical examination on Navalny's body, which will last at least 14 days.

Only after this, the body will be returned to the opposition leader's family and entourage, according to what Kira Yarmysh, the spokesperson for the deceased activist and politician, said Monday. "We understand clearly that they won’t show his body afterward and will keep extending this 'examination' until it suits them, at least until the [March presidential] election," Yarmysh said during a live video broadcast on Navalny's team's YouTube channel.

According to the Russian outlet The Moscow Times, authorities did not even let Navalny's mother see the body of her son. The woman tried to see the body for three consecutive days after prison authorities announced his death last Friday.

Navalny's mother accuses the authorities of wanting to erase the traces of a crime for which, she says, they are responsible and hide the real causes of Navalny's death. The Russian state claims that he had suffered a case of "sudden death syndrome," without further details. This term has no specific meaning in the medical or forensic field in Russia, according to The Moscow Times.

Spotlights shine on the Kremlin

Since the opposition leader's death was announced last Friday, all eyes have been on the Kremlin and Vladimir Putin. Alexei Navalny and his entourage knew perfectly well that the possibility of an assassination was on the table, especially as the election date in Russia approached. In 2020, Navalny reported an attempted murder by poisoning that left him in a coma for several weeks and forced him to be treated in Germany.

Both Navalny's wife and entourage, as well as President Joe Biden, have assured that Vladimir Putin's regime is behind the death of the most influential opponent in Russia. Many in the international community have recognized his work against the Russian government.