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Hundreds of Russians in front of Navalny's grave the day after his funeral

Photo: Olga Maltseva Agence France-Presse Hundreds of people came to pay their last respects to Alexeï Navalny, buried at the Borissovo cemetery, in the south of Moscow.

France Media Agency in Moscow


  • Europe

Hundreds of Russians marched in Moscow on Saturday at the grave of Alexeï Navalny, the main detractor of Vladimir Putin who died in prison, to pay tribute to him, the day after a funeral where thousands of Muscovites had attended gathered despite warnings from the Kremlin.

In the afternoon and under a winter sun, dozens of people lined up in front of the opponent's grave, bouquets of flowers in hands, noted an AFP journalist. Like the day before, the police had installed metal detection gates at the entrance to the cemetery.

Some of the people who came, many of them young people – the base of Navalny’s support – passed in front of the opponent’s grave with tears in their eyes.

In the morning, his mother, Lioudmila Navalnaïa, already present on Friday, once again visited her son's grave, largely covered with flowers and wreaths, at the Borissovo cemetery, in the south of the Russian capital.

She was accompanied by Alla Abrossimova, the mother of Mr. Navalny's widow, Yulia Navalnaïa.

His wife, Yulia Navalnaïa, as well as the couple's two children and his brother, live abroad and were unable to attend the funeral, where they could have been arrested for opposing the Kremlin.

Alexei Navalny's widow has vowed to continue her husband's work and has repeatedly said in recent days that Vladimir Putin “assassinated” him, something the Kremlin strongly denies.

Mr. Navalny, Vladimir Putin's fiercest critic for more than a decade, died on February 16 at the age of 47 in an Arctic penal colony, where he was serving a 19-year prison sentence for “extremism “.

The multiple trials that had been brought against him had been widely denounced as being a way of punishing him for his opposition to Vladimir Putin.

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At the Borissovo cemetery in southeast Moscow, about 20 kilometers from the Kremlin's red walls, Natalia, a 50-year-old artist, told AFP on Saturday morning that she felt a mixture of “sorrow, of despair and hope.”

“But after all, Alexei asked us not to despair and to fight,” she notes, at a time when the repression of any voice critical of the Kremlin is in full swing, two weeks before the presidential election which should see Vladimir Putin re-elected without opposition.

Everything that was built here over the years with him was buried here

— Novel

Vadim, a 52-year-old consultant, also says he is “sad and bitter at the loss of a man worthy of our time”, while urging his compatriots to “continue to live like Alexei would like: to make people in our country and around the world live happier.”

But for other people interviewed on Saturday, Navalny's death really means the end of hopes for change, while Vladimir Putin has been in power in Russia for almost a quarter of a century.

“Everything that was built here during all these years with him was buried here,” laments Roman, a 29-year-old who says he works in IT.

Opposition to Putin

On Friday, thousands of supporters of Mr. Navalny had queued for hours to pay their respects, first in front of the church where a short religious ceremony took place, before marching in direction of the cemetery.

Some chanted “No to war! » and other slogans in favor of Navalny, including calling Putin a “murderer” and calling for the “release of political prisoners”.

Human rights NGO OVD-Info said Russian police arrested at least 128 people participating in tributes to Navalny in 19 cities on Friday.

The Kremlin had warned supporters of the opponent of potential sanctions in the event of participation in any “unauthorized” demonstration on the occasion of this funeral.

The scenes of thousands of people marching in support of Mr. Navalny, demanding an end to the Russian assault in Ukraine and castigating the Kremlin, have not been seen in Russia since the early days followed the order given by Moscow to hundreds of thousands of soldiers to cross the border at the end of February 2022.

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