Photo Credit: Getty Images

Alexei Navalny buried in Moscow amidst anti-Putin chants

Thousands gathered on the outskirts of Moscow to bid farewell to Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. The funeral procession took place at the Church of the Icon of Our Lady Quench My Sorrows Friday morning. Navalny’s parents, Lyudmila Navalnaya and Anatoly Navalny were present; however, his widow and children were not in attendance. Yulia Navalnaya has vowed to continue her husband’s legacy, and it is likely unsafe for her and her children to return to Russia.

The Russian media did not provide much coverage of Navalny’s funeral. Ahead of the funeral, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov warned that “unauthorized gathering will be in violation of the law.” Peskov told CNN on Friday that he has “nothing” to say to Navalny’s family.

As Navalny’s body was brought into the church, video shows attendees clapping and cheering. Other videos show mourners chanting “Navalny,” “No to war,” “Free Russia,” and “Russia without Putin.” Despite the threat of arrest, the mourners continued to honor Navalny’s life and legacy.

The service itself was rather brief, but mourners broke into chants as Navalny’s coffin was taken outside the church. People tossed roses on the hearse and shouted: “We will not forget you!” Many approached Lyudmila Navalnaya and thanked her for her son’s life and contributions, begging for her forgiveness for her son’s death.

At least 45 people have been detained across Russia for paying their respects to Navalny, with 18 being detained in Moscow. 18 people were detained in Novosibirsk for laying flowers at a memorial for the fallen Putin opponent.

Yulia Navalnaya posted a video on X, formerly known as Twitter, bidding goodbye to her late husband. “Lyosha [a nickname for Alexey Navalny], thank you for 26 years of absolute happiness. Yes, even for the happiness over the last three years,” she said, “For love, for always supporting me, for making me laugh even from prison, for the fact that you always thought about me.”

“We will definitely meet one day. I have so many untold stories for you, and I have so many songs saved for you on my phone, stupid and funny, in general, to be honest, terrible songs, but they are about us, and I really wanted you to listen to them. And I really wanted to watch you listen to them, laugh, and then hug me,” she continued. The video ends with the words: “Love you forever. Rest in peace.”

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