Lyudmila Navalnaya said that investigators allowed her to see her son's body late on February 21 in the Arctic city of Salekhard. In a video statement, Navalnaya said she signed a death certificate, but that the authorities continued to hold her son's body. Navalnaya said she spent 24 hours in the directorate of the Investigative Committee in Salekhard and was brought to a morgue, where she saw her son's body for the first time since his death was made public on February 16. Navalnaya said she was brought to the morgue "secretly" and signed the death certificate there, stressing that the authorities were breaking the law by not releasing her son's body to her and by "putting forward conditions on where, when, and how Aleksei should be buried." The authorities in her presence "were receiving commands either from the Kremlin or from the Investigative Committee's central office," Navalnaya said. "They want the burial to be held secretly without any farewell ceremonies," she added in the video. "They want to bring me to the edge of a cemetery and say to me, 'Here is where your son is resting.' I do not agree with that." - RFE/RL


U.S. President Joe Biden on February 22 met the wife and daughter of Aleksei Navalny in California "to express his heartfelt condolences," the White House said in a statement. During the meeting, Biden expressed his admiration for Navalny's "extraordinary courage and his legacy of fighting against corruption and for a free and democratic Russia in which the rule of law applies equally to everyone," the statement said - RFE/RL

Ever since Vladimir Lenin set up his poison factory, known as the “Special Room”, poisonings have become one of the Kremlin’s favoured methods of silencing enemies. The Financial Times says it has unveiled the dark workings of Russia’s operation.

Meanwhile, hours after learning of the sudden death of her husband, Yulia Navalnaya asked Russians to “share her fury” and not abandon the fight to overthrow President Vladimir Putin. After shunning the spotlight for years, the trained economist and mother of two, has now vowed to be the face of Alexei Navalny’s activist movement, reports the FT. “By killing Alexei, Putin killed half of me, half of my heart and half of my soul. But I still have the other half, and it tells me that I have no right to give up,” she said. Natalia Arno, president of the Free Russia Foundation, told the FT that Navalnaya could potentially solve the squabbling that has long plagued Russia’s opposition. “The main problem in the opposition camp . . . was that nobody had legitimacy,” she said. The elevation of Navalnaya “might remove some questions”, as the “iron lady” stood a good chance of being supported by the Russian pro-democracy community as well as western governments.


Russian troops have taken the village of Pobieda in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, Russia has claimed, adding to a series of recent gains. The capture of the small village three miles west of Donetsk, would mark another advance for Moscow, which last week seized Avdiivka after months of fighting. “On the Donetsk front, units of the ‘Southern’ group of troops liberated the village of Pobeda and improved their position along the front line,” the Russian defence ministry said. Ukraine said in a briefing minutes later that it was “holding back enemy forces” in Pobeda. “Russians are concentrating their main activity on the Donetsk region,” said Oleksandr Tarnavsky, Ukraine’s senior commander in the area. The reported Russian offensive comes as Dmitry Medvedev, the former Russian President, said Russian troops may need to reach Ukraine’s capital Kyiv to achieve the goals of what Moscow calls a “special military operation”. - Telegraph


The Odysseus lunar lander, nicknamed “Odie” or IM-1, is set to land on the moon Thursday. If successful, it would mark the first touchdown of a US-made spacecraft on the moon in five decades. Odie’s trip to the moon is designed to assess the lunar environment of the moon's south pole ahead of NASA’s current plan to return a crewed missionthere in late 2026. It comes after a failed US lunar landing mission last month that ended with the Peregrine spacecraft burning up in the atmosphere as it careened back toward Earth 10 days later.- CNN


The Kremlin has accused Joe Biden of attempting to appear like a "Hollywood cowboy" after the US president called Vladimir Putin "a crazy SOB". Mr Biden made the comments at a public fundraising event on Wednesday in California, warning about the threat of nuclear conflict. In response, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called it a poor attempt to appear like a "Hollywood cowboy". He added that such vocabulary "debases America itself". In a brief speech in San Francisco, Mr Biden said: "We have a crazy SOB like that guy Putin, and others, and we always have to worry about nuclear conflict, but the existential threat to humanity is climate." - BBC

Protesting Polish farmers dumped grain out of a freight train during nationwide protests that have taken on an anti-Ukrainian character. The farmers, who say that cheap agricultural goods have undermined their business, want to stop the import of Ukrainian grain and to extend the ban to other goods including fruit, eggs and meat. They’ve managed to implement a near total blockade of the Ukrainian border - Guardian

Tom Cruise has reportedly split from his Russian socialite girlfriend Elsina Khayrova just days after meeting her kids. The Top Gun actor, 61, and Elsina, 36, who is the ex-wife of oligarch Dimitry Tsvetkov, are first believed to have met last December during a party in Mayfair, where they were seen canoodling. But now reports have emerged they have parted ways, just days after he met her children. Tom is said to have 'cooled off the romance' but wanted to remain friends because they live in the same apartment block in London - Daily Mail


This review is reprinted with the author’s permission from his World Briefing blog.

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