Alexei Navalny's Funeral to Be Held in Moscow on Friday

Alexei Navalny, the prominent critic of Vladimir Putin, will be buried in Moscow on Friday, following a farewell service at a Moscow church. His widow, Yulia Navalnaya, expressed uncertainty about the funeral's peacefulness and whether the police would arrest attendees. Navalny's death in an Arctic prison earlier this month has been blamed on the Russian president by his widow and many world leaders. Details of the funeral were announced as Ms. Navalnaya addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg, urging MEPs to be inspired by her late husband.


Funeral Details and Uncertainty

The funeral service for Alexei Navalny will take place at Borisovskoye Cemetery in Moscow on Friday. Prior to the burial, a farewell service will be held at a Moscow church. Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of the opposition leader, expressed uncertainty about the peacefulness of the funeral and the possibility of arrests by the police. Navalny's sudden death in an Arctic prison has been attributed to the Russian president by his widow and numerous world leaders.

Little information has been provided regarding the cause of Navalny's death, and initially, Russian authorities refused to release his body to his mother. It took eight days for them to relent. Kira Yarmysh, Navalny's spokesperson, reported that his team faced difficulties finding a venue for the ceremony, with some funeral homes claiming to be fully booked and others refusing to work with them upon learning who the event was for.

Yulia Navalnaya's Address to the European Parliament

As details of the funeral were announced, Yulia Navalnaya spoke at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. She condemned Russia's "brutal and sneaky" war in Ukraine and criticized the West's ineffective strategy for dealing with Russia. Navalnaya called for inspiration from her late husband, describing him as someone who always had new ideas, particularly in politics. She implored the MEPs to be more innovative and not rely on resolutions and sanctions that have made little impact on Putin.

Logistics and Potential Police Presence

Originally, Navalny's team had intended to hold the funeral on February 29th, but faced difficulties due to the unavailability of individuals who could dig a grave on that day. Ivan Zhdanov, director of Alexei Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation, suggested that this was because President Putin would be making a major speech on the same day. Zhdanov encouraged people to arrive early to have the opportunity to bid farewell to Navalny. A farewell ceremony will be held in the morning, followed by the funeral service and burial.

Since Navalny's death, around 400 people have been arrested in Russia for laying flowers in his memory. It is expected that there will be a heavy police presence at his funeral on Friday. Earlier in the week, an ally of Navalny claimed that he was about to be released in a prisoner exchange, but Putin changed his mind at the last moment. The Kremlin denies knowledge of such a deal.