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Widow of Russian Opposition Leader Navalny: 'We Know Exactly Why Putin Killed Alexei'

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PHOTO: A woman places a lit candle next to a poster of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, outside the Russian embassy in Bucharest, Romania, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024.  (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Three days after reports of Alexei Navalny's death in a Russian Arctic penal colony where he was serving a 30-year prison sentence, his family has still has not been allowed to view his body. 

Navalny's allies accuse authorities of trying to hide evidence.  

A London newspaper quoted a source as describing the body as "bruised." 

"The body was taken by investigative committee and they are conducting some sort of investigations with him," said Navalny spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh.  

Russian authorities say Navalny died from sudden death syndrome. But most believe he was murdered. 

In a new video, Navalny's widow said, "We know exactly why Putin killed Alexei and we will tell you soon."

Navalny was the leading voice for democracy in Russia, despite being poisoned in 2020 and nearly dying. He returned to Russia against the advice of many, and was arrested and jailed in its harsh penal system. 

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, "The death of Alexei Navalny yesterday was a reminder of the extraordinary brutality of Putin and his government."

Navalny seemed in perfect health just days before his death, laughing and cracking jokes about his trial. 

The news of his sudden death provoked outrage around the world. An independent Russian human rights group says hundreds of people have been arrested for protesting Navalny's death. 

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC) told CBS' Face The Nation that the U.S. needs to hit Putin hard by designating Russia a state sponsor of terrorism.

"Sponsor of terrorism designation is a game changer," Graham said. "It would allow more sanctions... it would allow the Navalny family to go to a U.S. court and sue Putin's Russia for killing of their loved one." 

Republican Congressman Mike Turner told NBC's Meet The Press he prayed with Navalny's widow in Germany and that the U.S. should respond with more military support for Ukraine. The Senate has passed a foreign aid bill, but the House has rolled out its own version.

"Vladimir Putin is a murderous thug and I think that in light of Navalny's death we should be that much more strong in funding Ukraine and passing this in the House and Senate, supporting Ukraine and sending a message to Putin," he said.

Most of Russia's opposition is either dead, in exile, or in prison. With Navalny's death, many are wondering if this is the end of political dissent in Russia. 

Alexei Navalny was once asked what he'd tell Russians if he were killed for challenging President Vladimir Putin. He said, "You're not allowed to give up. If they decide to kill me, it means we are incredibly strong..." 


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Since joining CBN News, Dale has reported extensively from Western Europe, as well as China, Russia, and Central and South America. Dale also covered China's opening to capitalism in the early 1990s, as well as the Yugoslav Civil War. CBN News awarded him its Command Performance Award for his reporting from Moscow and Sarajevo. Since 9/11, Dale has reported extensively on various aspects of the global war on terror in the United States and Europe. Follow Dale on Twitter @dalehurd and "like" him at