Nemtsov's daughter: Putin is more afraid of Navalny dead than Navalny alive

2024-02-24 15:21:00, Kosova & Bota CNA

Nemtsov's daughter: Putin is more afraid of Navalny dead than Navalny alive

The exiled daughter of slain Kremlin political opponent Boris Nemtsov has accused Russia of treating the body of dead opposition leader Alexei Navalny in a "horrific, inhuman, unbelievable and monstrous way", adding that it shows how much President Vladimir Putin fears Navalny's legacy.

"Vladimir Putin fears Navalny's dead body more than Navalny alive," Zhenna Nemtsova told Current Time, a week after Russian authorities said Navalny died after passing out in an Arctic prison. Nemtsova's father was a prominent politician turned vocal critic of Putin who, like Navalny, produced detailed reports on corruption before he was killed.

Boris Nemtsov was shot dead on a bridge near the Kremlin in Moscow in February 2015, just weeks after publicly expressing fears that Putin might kill him.

Nemtsova said Russian state television initially "covered my father's event very favorably, but everything changed...when the funeral march happened" which proved her father's popularity, as tens of thousands of Russians took to the streets either to a "political corpse".

As a result, Russian authorities called against mourning Nemtsov and ignored harassment of Nemtsov's sympathizers by ultranationalists. "They understand that the same will happen to Alexei Navalny" if public memorials are allowed, Nemtsova said.

Russia has increased its use of tools such as "foreign agents" and "undesirables" designations, in addition to brutal beatings and arrests, to minimize public opposition since it launched its invasion of Ukraine two years ago.

Russian police arrested hundreds of people across the country after Navalny's death and quickly removed all the makeshift memorials that citizens had put up in dozens of cities.

Navalny's widow and mother have blamed Putin for his death, as have US President Joe Biden and several other Western officials. Russian officials have denied responsibility for his death, but have not released his body and are reported to have requested a private burial before handing his body over to his mother.

"I believe that Alexei was killed on the orders of Putin, and they fear that on the eve of the elections, hundreds of thousands of people will go to say goodbye to Alexei," said Nemtsova.

Putin is seeking a fifth term as president in carefully controlled Kremlin-controlled elections on March 15-17, after Russian officials have already disqualified the only genuine anti-war candidate.

The Central Election Commission of Russia weeks ago banned Boris Nadezhdin from running in the elections, who has openly called for an end to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine./ Rel

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