Feb 28, 2024 - World

Navalny supporters expect crackdown as funeral set for Friday in Moscow

Navalny

Alexei Navalny at a rally in Moscow in July 2019. Photo: Maxim Zmeyev/AFP via Getty Images

Alexei Navalny's funeral has been set for Friday in Moscow, with the Russian opposition leader's supporters bracing for possible disruptions by the security services.

Why it matters: While the funeral will be open to the public, Russian authorities routinely cracked down public gatherings organized by Navalny when he was still alive. It's unclear how they'll handle a public event to mourn his death.

State of play: A funeral service will be held at a church on the outskirts of Moscow followed by a burial at the city's Borisovskoye Cemetery, Navalny's spokesperson Kira Yarmysh wrote on X Wednesday.

  • Yarmysh advised those planning to attend to "come early."
  • Ivan Zhdanov, the former director of Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation, alleged in a Telegram post Wednesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin was in the process of "releasing all his dogs to prevent the funeral from taking place normally."

What they're saying: Navalny's widow, Yulia Navalnaya, voiced concerns about the funeral while addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg Wednesday.

  • "I am not sure yet whether it will be peaceful or whether police will arrest those who have come to say goodbye to my husband," she said, the Washington Post reported.

Zoom out: In the wake of Navalny's death, Russian authorities detained hundreds of mourners across Russia who gathered at vigils to honor the opposition leader.

Go deeper: How Navalny became Putin's biggest political foe

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