Funeral of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny to be held on Friday

28 February 2024, 13:24

Yulia Navalnaya
France Russia Navalny. Picture: PA

Navalny died this month at a remote Arctic penal colony.

The funeral of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who died earlier this month in a remote Arctic penal colony, will take place on Friday in Moscow, his spokesperson said.

His funeral will be held at a church in Moscow’s south-east Maryino district on Friday afternoon, Kira Yarmysh said. The burial will take place at a nearby cemetery.

Navalny died in mid-February in one of Russia’s harshest penal facilities.

Russian authorities said the cause of his death at age 47 is still unknown, and the results of any investigation are likely to be questioned abroad.

Many Western leaders have already said they hold Russian President Vladimir Putin responsible for his death.

Ms Yarmysh spoke of the difficulties his team encountered in trying to find a site for a “farewell event” for Navalny.

Alexei Navalny
Navalny spent months inside a punishment cell for such infractions as not buttoning his uniform properly or not putting his hands behind his back when required (AP)

Writing on X, formerly Twitter, she said most venues said they were fully booked, with some “refusing when we mention the surname ‘Navalny,” and one disclosing that “funeral agencies were forbidden to work with us”.

Ivan Zhdanov, the director of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, said the funeral was initially planned for Thursday – the day of Mr Putin’s annual address to Russia’s Federal Assembly – but no venue would agree to hold it on that day.

Mr Zhdanov wrote on Telegram: “The real reason is clear. The Kremlin understands that nobody will need Putin and his message on the day we say farewell to Alexei.”

Alexei Navalny
Navalny died last week (Moscow City Court via AP)

Shortly after the announcement of the funeral plans, Navalny’s widow, Yulia Navalnaya, addressed European legislators in Strasbourg.

Speaking at the European Parliament, she confirmed that her husband would be buried on Friday and expressed fears that the police might interfere.

“I’m 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.

At some points appearing tearful amid applause but largely resolute, Ms Navalnaya said her husband’s death “showed everyone that Putin is capable of anything, and that you cannot negotiate with him”.

She appealed to the European Parliament to be “innovative” in its approach to the Russian President and those close to him.

“You cannot hurt Putin with another resolution or another set of sanctions,” she said, urging legislators instead to “apply the methods of fighting organized crime, not political competition”.

She asked the Parliament to investigate “financial machinations” and “mafia associates” in their countries and “discreet lawyers and financiers who are helping Putin and his friends to hide money”.

In introducing Ms Navalnaya, the president of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, paid tribute to Navalny.

“For many in Russia and outside, he represented hope. Hope in better days. Hope in a free Russia. Hope in the future,” she said.

Ms Navalnaya and Navalny were married for more than 20 years, and she was at his side as he helped lead the biggest protests in Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

The Israeli Iron Dome air defence system launches to intercept missiles fired from Iran

Israel hails ‘success’ in blocking Iran’s unprecedented attack

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that the Middle East is 'on the brink'

'The Middle East is on the brink,' UN chief warns, as Israel approves plan of attack after huge Iranian onslaught

Elections 2024 Media Debates

News organisations urge Joe Biden and Donald Trump to agree to debates

Damien Guerot stepped in in Sydney

Builder who wielded bollard to defend children from rampaging Sydney knifeman says attacker's 'eyes were empty'

The IDF said over 300 weapons were fired by Iran.

Israel approves plan of attack after foiling massive Iran onslaught, as world leaders call for 'stabilisation'

Russia Ukraine War

More civilians die in Ukraine amid warning US aid delays will hamper Kyiv forces

Bill Nighy

Bill Nighy and Paloma Faith join celebrities demanding Government act over Sudan

Dawn Singleton was among six victims of the stabbings

Police officer fiancé of Sydney stabbing victim 'discovered she had been killed after being scrambled to the scene'

The IDF said over 300 weapons were fired by Iran.

Israel says Iran conflict 'not over' and vows to 'collect a price when timing is right', as US urges restraint

Poland Abortion

Polish opponents of abortion march against recent steps to liberalise strict law

Five of the six victims from the stabbing have been named.

Victims of Sydney stabbings named as heartbroken tributes flood in following attack by knifeman who killed six

A demonstrator waves Iranian and Palestinian flags during an anti-Israeli gathering at the Felestin (Palestine) Square in Tehran, Iran

What is the fallout from Iran’s attack on Israel?

Joe Biden has reaffirmed the US's commitment to defending Israel's security.

Biden reaffirms ‘ironclad support' of Israel as he plans G7 meeting to coordinate ‘diplomatic response to Iran attack’

The IDF said over 300 weapons were fired by Iran.

‘Together we will win’: Netanyahu vows to fight off attacks from Iran after over 300 drones and missiles fired at Israel

Israeli's military have fought off a massive Iranian drone and missile attack - downing more than 200 weapons launched by the hostile state with the help of ace RAF pilots.

Israel fights off massive Iran attack - downing over 200 missiles and drones with help of RAF

Plans have been drawn up for an evacuation of Brits from the Middle East. Defence Secretary Grant Shapps (l) and protesters outside the British Embassy in Tehran (r)

Brits living in the Middle East could be rescued by the Royal Marines in 'Dunkirk-style' evacuation