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Over 24 hours after Navalny’s death, nobody can find his body. Here’s what we know.

Source: Meduza

More than 24 hours after Alexey Navalny’s death was reported by Russian prison authorities, neither his relatives nor his lawyers have been able to find out the location of his body.

Here’s what we know:

  • Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service reported Navalny’s death on February 16. Russian propaganda network RT claimed soon after that Navalny had died of a “detached blood clot.” However, a doctor who advised Navalny’s associates told Meduza that this was an “unlikely” cause of death and would be impossible to confirm without an independent autopsy.
  • On Saturday morning, Alexey Navalny’s mother and his lawyer visited the prison above the Arctic Circle where, according to Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service, Navalny was when he died. A prison employee told them that Navalny’s body had been sent to a morgue in the town of Salekhard.
  • When Navalny’s mother and lawyer traveled to the Salekhard morgue, they learned that it was closed. When the lawyer called the phone number on the door, he was told that the body is not in the morgue.
  • Another one of Navalny’s lawyers was told by an official from the local branch of the Russian Investigative Committee that the cause of Navalny’s death has “not been determined” and that his body will not be given to his family until the investigation is complete.
  • One hour earlier, however, Navalny’s lawyers were told by Investigative Committee officials that the investigation was over and that “no criminal activity had been detected,” according to Navalny’s press secretary Kira Yarmysh.
  • The Telegram channel Astra reported that one of its employees called the forensic medical examination bureau in Salekhard and was told that it had “not taken in any bodies from prisons.”
  • Ivan Zhdanov, the director of Alexey Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation, reported that a prison representative told Navalny’s mother that her son died of “sudden death syndrome.”
  • A source told Novaya Gazeta Europe that Alexey Navalny’s body has been in the Salekhard district clinical hospital morgue since Friday evening but that no autopsy has been performed yet. Two small planes reportedly arrived in Salekhard from Moscow on Saturday, which journalists think may have brought specialists tasked with conducting the autopsy. A city paramedic told the publication that Navalny’s body had bruises consistent with a seizure or outside restraint during convulsions and with CPR.

Here’s what we don’t know:

  • Where Navalny’s body is
  • How long he was dead before his death was reported
  • The official cause of his death
  • The true cause of his death
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