Alexey Navalny’s funeral held in Moscow amid heavy police presence

Large crowds of gathered outside the Mother of God Quench My Sorrows Church in Moscow’s Maryino district on Friday for the funeral service of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny.

The queue of mourners hoping to pay their respects was at one point nearly 2 kilometres long. As the memorial service began, people chanted “We won’t forget!” “We won’t forgive!” and “Heroes never die!”

After the service, Navalny’s coffin was transported across the Moskva river to the Borisovsky cemetery, where he was buried. As the motorcade arrived at the cemetery, crowds on the street outside chanted his name and threw flowers at the hearse.

After the burial, a limited number of people were allowed into the cemetery to pay their respects. A far larger crowd was forced to remain outside the cemetery’s gate, however, where mourners set up makeshift monuments to Navalny.

Police officers had been stationed outside the church before and during the funeral, according to Telegram channel SOTAvision, and metal barriers were erected along the route from the nearest metro station to the church. Others were reported outside Navalny’s old house in the neighbourhood, according to Mediazona.

Disruptions to mobile and internet service in the Maryino district were also reported. Mikhail Klimarev, the head of Russia’s Internet Protection Society, said that the outages were engineered “by order of the Russian government”.

As of Friday afternoon, one person had been reported detained en route to the funeral.

Yulia Navalnaya, Navalny’s widow, posted a farewell message to her husband on her instagram account, writing: “Thank you for 26 years of complete happiness.”

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