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Alexei Navalny's funeral will take place in Moscow on Friday

Photo: Jean-Francois Badias Associated Press Yulia Navalnaïa confirmed the date of her late husband's funeral during a speech at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. She says she fears arrests on Friday.

France Media Agency in Warsaw


  • Europe

The funeral of Russian opponent Alexeï Navalny, who died on February 16 in a penal colony in the Far North, will take place on Friday afternoon in Moscow, his wife and his team announced on Wednesday.< /p>

“The funeral service for Alexei will be held at the Church of Our Lady “Relieve My Sorrow” Icon in Marino on March 1 at 2:00 p.m. local time. The funeral will take place at the Borisovsky cemetery in the southeast of the Russian capital, his team said on Telegram.

The religious ceremony should therefore be organized in accordance with the Orthodox rite under the black domes decorated with golden crosses of this small church located less than 20 kilometers from the red walls of the Kremlin.

According to one of Alexeï Navalny's close collaborators, Ivan Zhdanov, the burial will then take place at 4 p.m. in the nearby cemetery.

Youlia Navalnaïa, the opponent's widow, confirmed the date of the funeral in a speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, saying however she feared arrests on Friday.

“The funeral will take place the day after tomorrow and I don’t know yet if it will be peaceful or if the police will arrest those who came to say goodbye to my husband,” she said, very moved, facing the deputies.

Because these funerals could mobilize supporters of Vladimir Putin's former number one adversary in large numbers and thus be embarrassing for the Russian president, who is preparing for a new coronation at the end of an unopposed vote scheduled for in less than three weeks (March 15-17).

The police force around the church and the cemetery is therefore likely to be particularly important.

Since the handover of Alexeï Navalny's body to his mother last Saturday, the opponent's team was looking for a place for a “public farewell”, but was “rejected” any request, the authorities putting pressure, according to her, on those responsible for the proposed locations.

“Everywhere they refused to give us anything. In some places we were told it was forbidden,” Mr. Zhdanov explained on Telegram, criticizing the attitude of “the Kremlin and (Sergei) Sobyanin,” the mayor of Moscow, close to Vladimir Putin.

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Silence from Putin

In the 2010s, before the repressive machine completely fell on him, Alexeï Navalny managed to mobilize crowds, particularly in the Russian capital, thus gaining his status as number one opponent of Kremlin.

In 2013, he won nearly 30% of the vote in Moscow's municipal elections, against Sergei Sobyanin.

This was followed in particular by intimidation, short prison sentences, then a poisoning in 2020 for which he accused Vladimir Putin of being responsible, despite the denials of the Russian head of state.

Alexei Navalny returned to Russia at the beginning of 2021 after his convalescence and was immediately arrested on orders from the authorities. At the time of his death, he was serving a 19-year sentence for “extremism” in an Arctic colony.

Meanwhile, the assault on Ukraine launched two years ago had accelerated the repression against any voice critical of the Kremlin.

For his part, Vladimir Putin, who is due to deliver his annual speech to the Nation on Thursday, has still not reacted to the death of his main detractor.

The circumstances of the death of Alexeï Navalny, which shocked the world, remain unclear for the moment.

According to the Russian penitentiary service, he died following a sudden malaise “after a walk”.

Alexeï Navalny's team, as well as many Western leaders, have accused Vladimir Putin of the “murder” of the opponent who spent three years of detention in very harsh conditions.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116