Navalny buried at Borisovskoye cemetery in Moscow

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was buried in Moscow's Borisovskoye cemetery on Friday. Thousands of people made their way to his final resting place.

Relatives paid their last respects to Navalny at his open coffin in a church in the Marino district on Friday. His wife, Yulia Navalny, daughter and son did not attend the service as they are abroad for security reasons. The service, which was streamed live on YouTube, drew a two-kilometre queue outside the church. Navalny's name was chanted in the streets of Moscow.

The service drew a two-kilometre queue outside the church

Navalny's team, who could not attend, had called on everyone to whom Navalny's work meant something to attend the service and funeral. A large police presence was deployed, and roadblocks were set up in several places.

A crowd chanting "No to war!" gathered to pay their respects to Navalny, said Max Seddon, Moscow bureau chief for the Financial Times, on X.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned in advance that any unauthorised demonstration would be a violation of the law and that those taking part would be held responsible.

Navalny was one of the most prominent political opponents of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He was serving a 19-year sentence for "extremism" in a penal colony when he died on Friday 16 February, according to prison authorities. 

The Russian authorities wanted a secret burial

According to Navalny's team, the death certificate states that he died of natural causes, but both the team and human rights activists believe that Navalny was killed. 

Navalny's mother, Lyudmila Navalnaya, spent days searching for her son's body. The Russian authorities wanted a secret burial and threatened to bury his body on the territory of the penal colony. However, Navalnaya refused to negotiate with the investigation committee and, after long insistence, was allowed to see the body on 22 February.



Pallbearers carry the coffin of Alexei Navalny out of the Mother of God Quench My Sorrows church after his funeral service in Moscow's Maryino district on March 1, 2024 © PHOTO Alexander NEMENOV / AFP

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