The widow of Aleksei A. Navalny mentioned on Monday that she would stick with it her husband’s work to carry a couple of democratic and free Russia, presenting herself for the primary time as a political drive and calling on his followers to rally alongside her.

Mr. Navalny’s sudden loss of life in jail, which was introduced by the Russian authorities on Friday, left a vacuum in Russia’s opposition. His supporters had questioned whether or not his spouse, Yulia Navalnaya — who lengthy shunned the highlight — may step in to fill the void.

In a video released on Monday, Ms. Navalnaya, 47, signaled that she would. She mentioned she was showing on her late husband’s YouTube channel for the primary time to inform his followers that a very powerful factor that they might do to honor his legacy was “to battle extra desperately and furiously than earlier than.”

“I’m going to proceed the work of Aleksei Navalny and proceed to battle for our nation,” Ms. Navalnaya mentioned. “I name on you to face beside me, to share not solely within the grief and infinite ache that has enveloped us and gained’t let go. I ask you to share my rage — to share my rage, anger and hatred of those that have dared to kill our future.”

The practically nine-minute video was crafted as an introduction of kinds to a brand new chief of the pro-democracy motion towards President Vladimir V. Putin. It comes at a time when these against the Kremlin strongman, who’ve sought to unite, really feel extra dispirited than ever.

Ms. Navalnaya had usually pushed again towards options that she enter politics, telling Germany’s Der Spiegel journal final yr that “I don’t assume that is an thought I need to play with.”

On Monday, she offered a unique face in attempting to rally her husband’s followers.

“I do know it feels unattainable to do any extra, however we now have to — to come back collectively in a single robust fist and strike with it at this maddened regime, at Putin, at his associates and his bandits in uniform, at these thieves and killers who’ve crippled our nation,” she mentioned.

The cause of Mr. Navalny’s death has not been established, and its circumstances have raised suspicions. President Biden blamed Mr. Putin personally, saying, “Make no mistake: Putin is liable for Navalny’s loss of life.”

Ms. Navalnaya echoed that sentiment, which is shared by a lot of her husband’s supporters, on Monday in her video.

“In killing Aleksei, Putin killed half of me, half of my coronary heart and half of my soul,” Ms. Navalnaya, Mr. Navalny’s widow, mentioned. “However I’ve one other half left and it’s telling me I’ve no proper to surrender.”

Her rousing message got here as Mr. Navalny’s aides mentioned that the opposition chief’s mom remained blocked from seeing her son’s physique. Mr. Navalny’s spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh, said the authorities had advised his mom that the investigation into his loss of life “has been prolonged” for an unsure period of time — and blocked her from seeing her son’s physique.

“One of many attorneys was actually pushed out” from the morgue within the Arctic the place Mr. Navalny’s physique is believed to be, Ms. Yarmysh mentioned in a post on the social media platform X. She added in another post, “They lie, purchase time for themselves and don’t even cover it.”

Russian investigators initiated an inquiry into the causes of Mr. Navalny’s loss of life shortly after it was reported, a procedural transfer that enables them to carry the physique for longer than regular.

Ivan Zhdanov, the top of Mr. Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Basis, mentioned that the delay meant that Russian officers had been “cleansing up traces of their crime.”

“They’re ready for the wave of hatred and rage towards them to settle down,” Mr. Zhdanov mentioned in a post on Telegram, the messaging app.

The Kremlin spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, rejected any suggestion of impropriety on Monday, saying that the investigation into Mr. Navalny’s loss of life has been persevering with “in accordance with the Russian legislation.”

Greater than 50,000 individuals have signed a petition to Russian investigators demanding the discharge of Mr. Navalny’s physique, a marketing campaign initiated by a Russia-based human rights group, OVD-Data.

Mourners have introduced flowers to makeshift memorials throughout Russia, paying tribute to Mr. Navalny with an act of grief that has additionally served as a type of protest in a rustic the place even the mildest dissent can threat detention.

The Russian authorities have tried to tamp down the dimensions of public mourning over Mr. Navalny’s loss of life. Flowers have been rapidly faraway from memorials and the police have detained hundreds of people.

Anton Troianovski contributed reporting.

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