Navalny’s supporters are not abandoning him: hundreds of Russians gather in front of his grave the day after his funeral

Hundreds of Russians marched in Moscow this Saturday in front of the grave of Alexei Navalny, Vladimir Putin’s main critic, who died in prison. pay tributethe day after a funeral and despite warnings from the Kremlin.

In the afternoon and under the winter sun, Dozens of people lined up in front of the opponent’s grave and carried bouquets of flowersconfirmed an AFP journalist.

As on the previous day, the police set up metal detectors at the entrance to the cemetery.

Some of the people who came Many of them are young people who are Navalni’s support baseThey walked past the enemy’s grave with tears in their eyes.

Navalny, President Vladimir Putin’s harshest critic in more than a decade, died last month at age 47 in an Arctic penal colony where he was serving a 19-year sentence on charges of “extremism,” under conditions that are still being resolved Need to become.

His mother, Lyudmila Navalnayavisited his grave decorated with flowers and wreaths, at the Borisovo cemetery south of Moscowearly Saturday morning, AFP journalists confirmed.

I accompanied her Alla AbrosimovaMother of Navalni’s widow Julia Navalnaya.

Russia Navalny funeral
Russia Navalny funeralRELATED PRESSAP Agency

Yulia Navalnaya, the couple’s two children and Navalny’s brother all live abroad and did not attend the funeral for fear of arrest.

The widow of the oppositionShe promised to continue her husband’s work and blamed Putin for his death.

End of hopes for change

Vadim, 52 years old, explained “sad at the loss of a man worthy of our time”and called on his compatriots to “continue to live as Alexei would have wanted: to do everything possible so that people in our country and around the world lead happier lives.”

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But for others interviewed on Saturday, Navalny’s death marks the end of hopes for change after Putin was in power for more than a quarter century.

“Everything that was built with it over the years was buried here”lamented Roman, a 29-year-old young man.

Thousands of Navalni’s supporters attended their opponent’s funeral the day before to pay their last respects.

As they walked away from a church near the cemetery in a very long line, some were singing “Not to war!” and other slogans in favor of Navalni.

Russian police arrested at least 128 people on Friday who, according to the human rights NGO OVD-Info, took part in the tributes to Navalni in 19 cities.

The scenes in which thousands of people marched in support of the opposition, demanded an end to the Russian offensive in Ukraine and attacked the Kremlin had not occurred in Russia since the military operation began in February 2022.

The Kremlin harshly suppresses dissent and uses strict laws to prosecute hundreds of people who have publicly spoken out against the campaign.

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