Large crowds gathered to bid farewell to Alexey Navalny, many chanting his identify and saying they won’t forgive the Russian authorities for his loss of life whereas the opposition chief is buried.

Tons of of mourners lined up close to a church in southern Moscow on Friday, ready for hours to pay their respects to Navalny underneath heavy police watch, after the Kremlin warned in opposition to “unauthorized” protests. .

Loud chants of “Navalny, Navalny” rang out because the dissident's coffin was carried in a black hearse because it arrived on the church within the Maryino district, the passage open regardless of a heavy police presence and vans riot police. Navalny's allies stated 1000’s of individuals have been in attendance.

After a brief service, the pallbearers carried his coffin for burial within the Borisovskoye cemetery of the capital.

Within the video broadcast from the Borisovskoye cemetery, Navalny's mom, Lyudmila, and father, Anatoly, bent over his open coffin to kiss him one final time as a small group of musicians performed.

Crossing over, mourners got here ahead to caress his face earlier than a priest gently positioned a white shroud over him and the coffin was closed.

Anatoly Navalny, right, and Lyudmila Navalnaya, the parents of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny walk to the Church of the Icon of the Mother of God Soothe My Sorrows, in Moscow, Russia.
Anatoly Navalny, proper, and Lyudmila Navalnaya, the mother and father of Russian opposition chief Alexei Navalny stroll to the church for his funeral in Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 1, 2024. [AP Photo]

Navalny, the fiercest critic of President Vladimir Putin in Russia, died on the age of 47 in an Arctic penal colony on February 16, prompting accusations from his supporters that he had been murdered.

The Kremlin has denied any state involvement in his loss of life.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier warned that “unauthorized conferences shall be in violation of the regulation and those that take part in them shall be held accountable,” in keeping with Russian information company TASS.

Rights group OVD-Data says round 400 mourners have been arrested at memorials for Navalny since his loss of life.

The French and German ambassadors have been within the crowd on Friday, as have been a few of Russia's final impartial politicians.

Among the many giant crowd of mourners, some chanted: “Russia shall be free”, “No to conflict”, “Russia with out Putin”, “We don’t forgive” and “Putin is a assassin”. The police have been current in giant numbers, however didn’t intervene.

“Individuals like him mustn’t die: sincere and principled, keen to sacrifice themselves,” stated a mourner, Anna Stepanova, exterior the church.

“What are they afraid of? Why so many automobiles?” she stated. “The individuals who got here right here, they weren’t afraid. Alexei was not both.”


Mysterious loss of life

Navalny was identified for his outspoken and uncompromising criticism of Putin.

His funeral got here after a battle with authorities over the discharge of his physique following his nonetheless unexplained loss of life in custody. His physique was saved in a morgue for eight days earlier than being returned to the household.

Navalny's widow, Yulia Navalnaya, is out of Russia and didn’t attend the funeral; neither did Navalny's two sons.

Yulia beforehand accused Putin of murdering her husband after which delayed the discharge of his physique in an try to stop him from having a dignified public funeral.

Kremlin spokesman Peskov criticized the accusations made by her and a few Western leaders as “vulgar”.

Foreign diplomats, including French Ambassador to Russia Pierre Levy and US Ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy, wait near the Soothe My Sorrows church before a funeral and farewell ceremony for the politician Russian opposition Alexei Navalny in Moscow, Russia.
Overseas diplomats, together with French Ambassador to Russia Pierre Levy and US Ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy, wait forward of a funeral and farewell ceremony for Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny in Moscow, Russia, March 1, 2024. [Stringer/Reuters]

Western governments have been fast to carry the Kremlin accountable, however have stopped wanting making direct accusations of involvement.

A number of church buildings in Moscow refused to carry the service earlier than Navalny's crew obtained permission from the Church of the Icon of Our Woman Quench My Sorrows, close to the place Navalny lived earlier than his 2020 poisoning, the therapy in Germany and the arrest after his return to Russia in 2020. 2021.

Addressing the European Parliament this week, Yulia informed lawmakers that her husband had been tortured for 3 years.

“He was starved in a tiny stone cell, lower off from the surface world and denied visits, cellphone calls, and even letters,” she stated.

Navalnaya promised to proceed his life's work and urged to “combat extra desperately, extra fiercely than earlier than.”

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