Navalny to be buried on Friday, wife fears possible arrests

Thursday, Feb 29, 2024

MOSCOW: Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny’s funeral service and burial will take place in Moscow on Friday, his wife Yulia announced, but she said she was unsure if it would pass off peacefully or whether police would arrest attendees.

Kira Yarmysh, Navalny’s spokesperson, posted on X that a service for Navalny would be held on Friday afternoon in the Church of the Icon of the Mother of God in the Moscow district of Maryino where Navalny used to live.

Navalny would then be buried at the Borisovskoye cemetery, which is located around 2.5-km away on the other side of the Moskva River. A Reuters reporter on Wednesday saw three police patrols at the snow-covered cemetery which is located near a busy road.Navalny’s allies have accused the Kremlin of thwarting their attempts to organise a bigger event a day earlier. The Kremlin has said it has nothing to do with such arrangements.Russian funeral services are usually presided over by a priest and accompanied by choral singing, with attendees filing past the open casket of the deceased to say their farewell. The chosen Russian Orthodox church is an imposing five-domed white building in a suburb of southeastern Moscow.

It was not immediately clear how the authorities would ensure crowd control.

But judging from previous gatherings of Navalny supporters - whom the authorities have designated as US-backed extremists - a heavy police presence is likely and the authorities will break up anything they deem to resemble a political demonstration under protest laws.