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Funeral of Russian opposition leader Navalny held in Moscow

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk March 1, 2024 2:34 PM 2 min read
People walking toward a Moscow cemetery for the funeral of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny on March 1, 2024. (Navalny's Team/Telegram)
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Editor's note: The article was updated after Alexei Navalny's burial took place.

The funeral service of late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny took place in a church in Moscow's Maryino district, the independent Russian news outlet Meduza reported on March 1.

Navalny was buried at the Borisov Cemetery in the Brateyevo district. Videos published on Navalny's team Telegram channel show thousands of people accompanying the funeral procession on its way toward the cemetery, chanting in support of Navalny and calling Russian President Vladimir Putin a "killer."

Navalny, Putin's main political opponent, died on Feb. 16 in a penal colony in the town of Kharp, Yamal Nenets Autonomous District. He had been convicted in several fabricated criminal cases as part of the Kremlin's crackdown on dissent.

Leaders around the world pointed at Putin as to blame for Navalny's death. It remains unclear whether the harsh prison conditions caused his death or if he was intentionally murdered.

According to Meduza, many people came to pay their respects to Navalny, with the line to the church reportedly stretching for about two kilometers.

Only a few relatives and friends were allowed inside for the service, however, and authorities reportedly restricted internet access in the Maryino district.

People gathering for the funeral of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow on March 1, 2024. (Navalny's team/Telegram)

EU and U.S. ambassadors, as well as anti-war politician Boris Nadezhdin who unsuccessfully tried to run for the upcoming presidential election, were also present, Meduza wrote.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said he has nothing to say to Navalny's relatives and warned that anybody who takes part in "unauthorized rallies" during the funeral "will be held accountable."

Navalny's body was released to his mother on Feb. 24, shortly after Navalny's widow Yulia Navalnaya called out Russian President Vladimir Putin in a video due to the refusal of the prison authorities to release his remains to his mother, nearly nine days after his death.

Navalny's mother said on Feb. 22 that the authorities threatened that they would only transfer the body to her if she agreed to a secret funeral, as opposed to a public one.

Ivan Zhdanov, the head of Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation, told Russian independent media outlet Meduza on Feb. 28 that the authorities were actively trying to prevent a public funeral.

Alexei Navalny’s life and death as main opponent to Putin regime
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s death on Feb. 16 did not come as a surprise for those familiar with Russian politics. Navalny was Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s main opponent, and the Kremlin had used all the tools at its disposal to shut him up. He was sentenced in several fabricate…

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