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15 April, 2024
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Tight security as Russia bids farewell to Navalny

Hundreds gather to remember Russian opposition leader; Foreign diplomats pay tributes


Hundreds gathered in Moscow to say their goodbyes to Alexei Navalny at a funeral under heavy police presence.  Navalny, a prominent critic of President Vladimir Putin, died under unexplained circumstances in an Arctic penal colony.

According to a report by the Associated Press, several Moscow churches refused to host the service, but Navalny's team secured permission from the Church of the Icon of the Mother of God Soothe My Sorrows.

The funeral was attended by Western diplomats, including the ambassadors of Germany, France, and the United States, along with presidential hopefuls and hundreds of supporters. By the time the coffin arrived with his body, the crowd gathered outside the church applauded, chanting his name as well as the slogan "You were not afraid, and neither are we."The spot where Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny is to be buried (Reuters photo).

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov urged legal compliance during gatherings, emphasizing the prohibition of unauthorized mass gatherings. Navalny's mother, Lyudmila Navalnaya, faced challenges in securing the release of his body, which was held for post-mortem tests. The cause of Navalny's death, who had been jailed since January 2021, is still undisclosed.

His widow, Yulia Navalnaya, accused Putin and Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin of obstructing a public funeral. Despite COVID-19 restrictions, Moscow authorities denied permission for a separate memorial event for Navalny and Boris Nemtsov, another slain opposition leader. Navalny's foundation was labeled an "extremist organization" by the Russian government in 2021.

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