Navalny’s funeral in Moscow draws thousands

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Slain Russian opposition leader’s mother and father attended sombre ceremony in Moscow church surrounded by police
Moscow
Thousands of Russians gathered in Moscow to mourn and chant opposition politician Alexei Navalny’s name during his small funeral, held under tight security, Reuters reported.
Navalny’s mother and father attended the sombre ceremony in a Moscow church surrounded by police. A photograph circulated on social media captured Navalny’s body lying in a flower-filled coffin, with his mother and father present.
Outside the church, a crowd, prevented from entering, chanted “Navalny! Navalny!” while an Orthodox priest conducted the brief service.
As his coffin was carried out, expressions of discontent erupted, with people chanting phrases like “Russia will be free,” “No to war,” and “Putin is a murderer.”
Navalny, a prominent critic of President Vladimir Putin, passed away at 47 in an Arctic penal colony on February 16, sparking accusations of foul play from his supporters, vehemently denied by the Kremlin.
The funeral occurred two weeks before Russia’s presidential election, widely expected to see Putin secure another six-year term.
Security was notably stringent at the Church of the Icon of the Mother of God, where the service took place. Mourners, carrying flowers, arrived early, expressing solidarity with Navalny’s family.
The ceremony was attended by diverse individuals, each with their reasons for honouring Navalny.
Following the funeral, Navalny’s body was transported to Borisovskoye cemetery, accompanied by heightened security measures.
Over a quarter of a million people globally watched the events on Navalny’s blocked YouTube channel.
As allies of Navalny outside Russia urged memorials to Soviet-era repression, the Kremlin warned against unsanctioned gatherings, citing legal violations.
Navalny’s funeral comes amid lingering accusations and unanswered questions surrounding his death, adding complexity to the political landscape in Russia.