Alexei Navalny’s wife Yuliawhich directly blamed Putin for her husband’s death, saying the Russian opposition leader was poisoned with the Novichok nerve agent, she always kept a low profile insisting that her main role was that of wife and mother and not as a politician.

But with Navalny’s death on Friday and her impassioned plea for justice at the Munich Security Conference, has emerged as an important personality for Russia’s opposition.

According to the BBC report, despite her key role in the past, Yulia Navalnaya has always been a vital supporter of her husband and was instrumental in his removal from Russia in order to receive an emergency treatment, when he was poisoned with the Novichok nerve agent in 2020.

She has been described as the “First Lady” of the Russian opposition with Alexei Navalny himself declaring that he could not continue his increasingly desperate and one-sided fight against the Kremlin without his wife by his side.

But who is Yulia Navalnaya? with which did alexei navalny have two children? She was born in Moscow in 1976, the daughter of the distinguished scientist Maurice Amprosimov. An economics graduate, she pursued a career in banking, but gave up her job to raise her two children when Alexei became known as an opposition politician.

Yulia Navalnaya

They had met while on holiday in Turkey in 1998 and married two years later. Back then it didn’t seem like Alexei Navalny would have the fame he has today. Their political philosophies immediately matched as was seen since and Yulia Navalnaya shared Alexei’s politics early on – in the 2000s and were both members of the liberal party Yabloko. However, she always kept out of the limelight until the poisoning of Alexei Navalny in 2020, again making few public appearances or speeches. When Alexei fell ill in the Siberian city of Omsk in August of that year, she wrote directly to Vladimir Putin, asking him to release her husband for treatment in Germany. Navalny eventually managed to flee Russia, with the help of a German-based charity.

Yulia Navalnaya

Yulia returned with him to Moscow several months later after his treatment and saw him immediately arrested. Navalny spent the rest of his life behind bars.

Former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, who called Yulia a woman with “principles and fearlessness”, he then stated that there would be enormous pressure on her to have a more public role and that she had “all the credentials” to do so. However, Navalnaya recently said she will not follow the path of Svetlana Tsykhanovskaya, the exiled Belarusian opposition leader.

But her speech in Munich and a subsequent address to her supporters on social media (in Russian), suggest that he may change his mind in the future. “What we need is a free, peaceful and happy Russia. The wonderful Russia of the future that my husband so dreamed of”she said in the video she posted after Navalny’s death, adding: “This is the country I want to build with you. The country that Alexei Navalno imagined. It is the only way – no other – that the unimaginable sacrifice he made would not be in vain.” concluded.