April 13, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Thousands of people at Alexei Navalny's funeral | The opposition leader, who died in prison, was buried in Moscow

Thousands of people at Alexei Navalny's funeral |  The opposition leader, who died in prison, was buried in Moscow

Russian dissident Alexei Navalny was laid to rest in a Moscow cemetery this Friday, before thousands of well-wishers paid tribute to the Kremlin's main opponent. Died under mysterious circumstances in an Arctic prison.

Security forces arrested “at least 91 people in 19 cities” – 14 in the Russian capital – during rallies in tribute to the former anti-corruption activist.

Along with flowers, some wept, Navalny's supporters gathered near the grave and many chanted slogans against the Kremlin and its attacks on Ukraine. “Not to war!” and “We will never forget you!”

After a brief ceremony at a church in Marino, a district southeast of the capital, his remains were buried in the nearby Borisovo cemetery. During the funeral, the soundtrack to Terminator 2 played, which the deceased hailed as “the best movie ever made,” said his spokeswoman Kira Yarmish.

All eyes are on Putin

The funeral took place two weeks after the death of the 47-year-old enemy, which took place on February 16 in a prison in the Arctic. His aides, his widow and Western powers blame President Putin for his death, a charge he denies.

Navalny's body was kept for eight days and the family struggled to find an acceptable place to hold the ceremony.. Only a small number of people can enter the church. There, according to Orthodox rites, the body was unveiled to the public for the first time, covered with red and white flowers.

The body arrived moments later to the applause of thousands of people guarded by riot police. “It's painful, people like him should not die, honest, principled, willing to sacrifice themselves.” Anna Stepanova said. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned that any “unauthorized” demonstration during the funeral could be allowed.

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“Living Without You”

In a message posted on social media, Yulia Navalnaya, Enemy's widow, thanked for “26 years of complete happiness.” “I don't know how I'll live without you, but I'll do my best to make sure you're happy.” And proud of myself,” he said.I will always love you“.

The opponent's brother, Oleg Navalny, wrote: “Brother, sleep peacefully, don't worry about anything.” The funeral was attended by three prominent Russian opposition figures, Yevgeny Roisman, Boris Nadeshtin and Ekaterina Duntsova, as well as the ambassadors of the US, France and Germany.

“We don't have politicians like this anymore, and nobody knows when we'll have them again.” Maria, a 55-year-old librarian, said she felt both “fear and sadness”. Denis, 26, a volunteer at a charity, said it was Navalny who got him “interested in politics” in a country with an increasingly authoritarian regime.

Tribute abroad

Navalny's group called on Muscovites to say goodbye to the dead and to his supporters in other cities and abroad, gathering in front of memorials, an act of irritation to the government, especially two weeks before a presidential election that will surely embolden Putin. power

Around 300 people gathered in front of the Russian Embassy in London to pay their respects. There were events in his memory in Berlin and Belgrade. In Paris, dozens of people gathered quietly near the Eiffel Tower.

In the days following Navalny's death, approximately 400 people were detained by police at several improvised rallies.. Navalny was poisoned in 2020 and narrowly survived, which he blamed on Putin. He fled the dying country, survived treatment he received in Germany, returned to Russia and was sentenced to 19 years in prison for “extremism.” He was the only politician who mobilized large numbers of people, especially in Moscow.

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His political movement denounced and eliminated the corruption of the Russian elite. Many of his collaborators were imprisoned or exiled. Widow Navalnaya vowed to continue her husband's fight. Leonid Volkov, an associate of the deceased, promised that his team “will not give up.” “Good always triumphs over evil,” he said.