Navalny’s women: his wife Yulia, his daughter Daria, his mother

Lor remembered on social media with an “I love you” and a photo of them together, embracing — the kind of photo every couple has. Yulia Navalnaya she is the widow of Alexei Navalny, 47, the most important opponent of President Vladimir Putin, died on Friday in circumstances to be clarified in the “Polar Wolf” penal colony in the Arctic, where he was serving a three-decade sentence. Today they remain to remember him and ask for justice wife, daughter and mother. The three women in his life.

Alexei Navalny died in a gulag prison: he was Putin's main opponent

Yulia, Daria, Lydmila: Alexei Navalny’s women demand justice

His life partner for 24 years, wife Yulia Navalnaya. The daughter Daria, who received the Sakharov Prize on behalf of her father and who feels like his heir. The mother Lyudmila Navalnaya, 69, who was unable to mourn the body of her dead son. Three women full of pain, dignity and anger.

Yulia, the wife: «Putin killed half of me, but the other half doesn’t give up»

Born on October 24, 1976, Yulia Navalnaya she is the daughter of an employee of the USSR Minlegprom (i.e. the ministry for the production of consumer goods) and a Soviet scientist. She studied economics at Russia’s Plekhanov University and met Alexei Navalny when both were still students.

Was the wife of the Russian oppositionist for 24 years. Mother of her two children (Dasha “Daria” and Zakhar, born in 2001 and 2008), blonde and icy, passionate and radical, she has fought in recent years with all her strength to keep the spotlight on her husband’s fate. When she was asked what her job was, she replied, ironically, “I’m the one who keeps everything going and who raises two children in the meantime.”

She has been considered the first woman of the Russian opposition since 2018 and then after 2020, when her husband was poisoned. She appealed to Germany and confronted Vladimir Putin, asking for permission to take her husband out of the country for treatment.

Yulia Navalnaya, wife of Alexei Navalny, at the Munich Security Conference (MSC) on the day her husband’s death was announced, February 16, 2024. (Photo by THOMAS KIENZLE / AFP) (Photo by THOMAS KIENZLE/AFP via Getty Images)

The openly demonstrated love of Alexei Navalny and Yulia

The love between the couple allowed them both to move forward. Already on the occasion of the poisoning, Navalny wrote on her social networks that he was alive thanks to her. THEThe two kiss at Moscow airport, before the dissident was forced to follow the agents who arrested him, is already a symbol of resistance to repression in Putin’s Russia. For Russian politics this open and displayed demonstration of love was an incredible turning point. The image of Navalny forming a heart with his fingers as his prison sentence was announced, to force Yulia to smile through her tears, is a moment that made history. And on last Valentine’s Day, Navalny celebrated his love for Yulia in a post on Telegram.

Two days ago, upon hearing the news of his death, Yulia decided to speak publicly on behalf of her husband and their love. «I was undecided whether to run straight away to my children or whether to stay here. I wondered what Aleksey would do and he would stay here and fight. And that’s what I decided to do too.”

Today he posted a video on his official YouTube channel announcing his intention to «Continue the work of Alexey Navalny» and that “the struggle for a free Russia will not cease.” «Putin didn’t just kill the man Alexey Navalny. Together with him, he wanted to kill our hopes, our freedom and our future, to destroy and sweep away the best proof that Russia can be different: that we are strong, we are courageous, we believe, we fight desperately and we want live differently.”

It’s still, “My husband could not be brokenand that’s exactly why Putin killed him – like a coward, not daring to look him in the eyes or say his name,” Navalnaya said. «By killing Alexey, Putin killed half of me, half of my heart and half of my soul. But I still have the other half leftand this tells me that I have no right to give up,” Navalnaya said.

Daria Navalnaya, the daughter of the Russian oppositionist

Born in 2001, Daria (Dasha) Navalnaya is the daughter of Alexei Navalny and Yulia Navalnaya. Student of psychology at Stanford Universityinfluencer and activist, in 2021, on behalf of his father, accepted the Sakharov Prize of the European Parliament, the most prestigious recognition of the European Union for human rights.

Alexei Navalny’s daughter Daria Navalnaya receives the Sakharov Prize at the European Parliament in 2021. (Photo by Julien WARNAND / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JULIEN WARNAND/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

He has spoken about his father and his campaigns against corruption in Russia in several interviews. In 2023, to CNN journalist Erin Burnett, had said he “won’t stop fighting” until Putin released his father and other political prisoners in the country. He also gave an insight into what it means growing up in a climate of oppression like the one that marked his childhood. And, for example, she told how she and her brother played to try to avoid spies while traveling on public transport.

“I have always been proud of my father,” she said, “Despite the fears for his life and ours. He wants the best for his country. He wants my younger brother and I to have a good future in this country.”

Love demonstrated openly is a value that Daria learned from her parents. Just look at her Instagram profiles. For example the comment on a video published for his parents’ wedding anniversary. They hug on a terrace: «Love is when every day you want to dance together on old songs. Love is supporting each other in a court of law. Parents, thank you for teaching me to love.”

Since 2021, since Alex Navalny’s return to Russia after the poisoning, and therefore since his arrest, his daughter has also picked up the baton and made her parents’ battles her own. On social media, on television, at university, you shared messages and requested help from the international community. “They don’t feed him.” “They don’t give him boots for the snow.” “They are holding him in inhumane conditions.”

Many think that she can take up her father’s legacy and make it her own. He too had begun to show impatience towards violated civil rights and the Russian totalitarian regime at a very young age.

Lyudmila Navalnaya, Navalny’s mother who is looking for his body

Lyudmila Navalnaya she immediately exposed herself to deny the narrative of the death made by the Russian authorities. No illness. She had seen her son on February 12th and he was fine. The woman faced impossible weather conditions, at 30 degrees below zero, to go and collect his son’s body. But at the morgue reported by the authorities, Navanly’s remains had never arrived and no one knew exactly where they were at the moment.