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Russians gather to bid Navalny farewell, only relatives were allowed to attend 20-minute service – video, photo

Friday, 1 March 2024, 15:55
Russians gather to bid Navalny farewell, only relatives were allowed to attend 20-minute service – video, photo
Funeral service for Alexei Navalny in Moscow. Photo: Meduza

The funeral service for Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, who died in a penal colony on 16 February, took place in Moscow on 1 March. 

Source: Meduza; SOTA; BBC News Russian

Details: Only relatives and loved ones were allowed to enter the church. Following the funeral service, the coffin containing Navalny's body was carried out of the church and taken to the cemetery. The funeral lasted less than twenty minutes.


The church was surrounded by crowd-control barriers. The queue of people waiting to pay their last respects to Navalny stretched for over a kilometre. The exact number of people who came has not been reported, but it is in the hundreds.

People standing around the barriers would occasionally chant "Navalny!" and "We will not forgive!".

Ambassadors from the EU and the United States also came to bid Navalny farewell. US Ambassador Lynne M. Tracy, German Ambassador Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, French Ambassador Pierre Lévy and diplomatic representatives from several other EU countries were seen outside the church.

After the funeral service, Navalny's remains were taken to the Borisov Cemetery. He was buried in a grave at the cemetery entrance.

The media outlet Sota said at least forty police cars of various sizes, ranging from cars to special buses, had gathered outside the church early in the morning; metal barriers were put up along the road; and riot police were on duty.

Police officers were inspecting the documents and personal belongings of passers-by on both banks of the river, and there were police vans parked outside the church.

Navalny's widow, Yulia, and his brother posted farewell messages on social media.

Quote from Yulia Navalnaya: "Thank you for 26 years of absolute happiness. Yes, even for the last three years of happiness. For your love, for always supporting me, for making me laugh even from prison, and for always thinking of me.

I don't know how to live without you, but I will try to make you happy for me and proud of me up there. I don't know if I can do it, but I will try.

We will definitely meet one day. I have so many untold stories for you, and I have so many songs saved in my phone for you – stupid and funny and actually, to be honest, terrible songs – but they are about us, and I wanted to let you hear them so much. I wanted to watch you listen to them, laugh, and then hug me.

I love you forever. Rest in peace."


  • On the afternoon of 16 February, Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service reported the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny at Correctional Facility No. 3 in Kharp, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, in northwestern Siberia. Representatives of the colony where Navalny was located told the politician's mother that he died of sudden death syndrome.
  • On the morning of 19 February, Lyudmila Navalnaya arrived at the morgue in the town of Salekhard where the body of her son, opposition politician Alexei Navalny, was allegedly kept. Still, neither she nor her lawyers were allowed in.
  • On 23 February, Lyudmila reported that the prison administration threatened to bury her son's body in the prison colony if she did not agree to a secret, quiet burial. 
  • On 24 February, Russia’s prison employees finally handed over the body of opposition leader Alexei Navalny to his mother.
  • On 27 February, the politician's spokesperson Kira Yarmysh reported that Moscow funeral agencies refused to provide premises for the funeral of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

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