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Navalnaya warns that Putin may use nuclear weapons

Navalnaya warns that Putin may use nuclear weapons

The widow of late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said "no one knows" what to expect from Russian President Vladimir Putin, and warned that the revanchist Kremlin leader could use nuclear weapons if he felt it necessary.

Yulia Navalnaya, who is in exile, has vowed to keep up the pressure on Putin since her husband died in an Arctic prison in February.

Dpa news agency asked Navalnaya if Putin would stop and not use nuclear weapons, but she said "we don't know what to expect from [Putin]".

"He probably would [use nuclear weapons]," she added.

Navalnaya has used recent spying scandals and arrests in Germany and Poland to argue that Putin has been waging war in the heart of Europe for years.

"Putin has not started now, he has been doing this for a long time," she said.

Navalny, 47, died on February 16 in a Siberian prison under circumstances that are still unknown. He was serving a 19-year prison sentence for extremism and other charges widely seen as politically motivated.

His death under unclear circumstances has led Navalny and his supporters to say he was murdered, despite the death certificate issued by Russian authorities saying Navalny died of natural causes.

US President Joe Biden and other Western leaders have accused Moscow of killing the Kremlin's most vocal critic, who survived several poisonings that Navalny blamed on Putin.

Citing the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine that Russia launched in 2022, Navalnaya said it is impossible to know if Putin will attack anyone else.

Earlier this month, two Poles and a Belarusian were arrested in Poland on suspicion of involvement in attacks in Lithuania on the former director of Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation, Leonid Volkov.

Last week, two German-Russian citizens were arrested on suspicion of attempting to commit acts of sabotage in Germany. Officials in Poland have also arrested a person whom they accuse of helping Russian intelligence to plan an assassination attempt on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky./ REL

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