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Navalni’s funeral: snipers on the roofs, tears from his supporters and no hearse willing to carry the opponent’s body

Navalni's funeral: snipers on the roofs, tears from his supporters and no hearse willing to carry the opponent's body

Thousands of Russians gathered in front of the Moscow church to say goodbye Opposition leader Alexei Navalni died two weeks ago in an Arctic prison under unclear circumstances. thousands of Hours earlier, Muscovites formed a long line around the temple in the Mariino district from the start of the funeral service.

“Say goodbye to Alexei Navalny when you are in Moscow. Those who are not there for various reasons will thank you,” one of Navalny’s associates, Leonid Volkov, who is currently in exile, wrote in X. Family spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said this hours before the ceremony They had difficulty with preparations and were unable to find a hearse to transport the dissident’s body because companies refused to provide this service.. “Unknown people are calling the morgues and threatening them if they agree to take Alexei’s body,” Yarmysh said.

After the funeral in the church, the coffin with his body was taken to the Borisovo cemetery, where he will be buried. The wake lasted just over half an hour, without the thousands of the enemy’s supporters able to enter to pay their respects. Navalni’s funeral is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. (1:00 p.m. GMT) at a cemetery where strict security measures have been lifted since yesterday.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin warned against violating Russian laws by holding unauthorized demonstrations during the funeral of the Russian opposition leader.

Among the Muscovites who came to say a final farewell to Navalny despite authorities’ warnings are people of all ages, some holding carnations and red roses. Under the watchful eyes of numerous police officers, people wait patiently for the event to begin.

Both next to the temple where the burning chapel will be built and in the cemetery where the politician will be buried, Metal fences were erected and a large police force was deployed. Several surveillance cameras and other devices that can serve as internet and cell phone signal suppressors have also been installed on the cemetery’s lampposts. In addition, snipers are stationed on dozens of rooftops in the capital.

Navalny’s supporters also traveled from other places to say goodbye. “To all who are here, those who cannot be here and those who were too afraid to come: Alexei was the person who not only gave his life fighting for something, but who gave his life fighting gave for us,” NAdezhda Ivanova, who traveled from Kaliningrad, Russia’s westernmost city, said.

For nine days, Navalni’s family denounced the authorities’ refusal to hand over the politician’s body after his death. The day before, warnings from some universities to their students not to take part in Navalny-related demonstrations under threat of expulsion were spread on Russian social networks.

The BBC recalls that in March 2015 thousands of people lined the streets to pay tribute to murdered opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, but it is unlikely that a similar public display of mourning for an opponent of President Vladimir Putin will now be allowed.

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