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Putin Critic Alexei Navalny To Be Buried In Moscow Amid Tight Security Today

Alexei Navalny, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most vocal critic, died on February 16th.

Moscow:

Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny will be buried in Moscow late Friday, two weeks after his sudden death at the age of 47 in an Arctic penal colony, amid concerns about tight security and a police crackdown. Became.

Mr. Navalny’s allies have promised to livestream the day’s events online, suggesting that President Vladimir Putin could not tolerate the idea that Mr. Navalny could be released in a possible prisoner swap by the Russian leader. He is accused of having him killed because he did not have the right to do so.

They have not released evidence to support that accusation, but have promised to reveal how and by whom he was killed.

The Kremlin denies any state involvement in Navalny’s death and says it is not aware of any agreement for his release. His allies say his death certificate says he died of natural causes.

Mr. Navalny, a former lawyer, has mounted the most determined political challenge to President Putin since he took power in late 1999, organizing street protests and drawing attention to allegations of corruption among some members of the ruling elite. The results of a highly sophisticated survey were announced.

But a series of criminal charges of fraud and extremism that Navalny said were politically motivated resulted in him being sentenced to more than 30 years in prison, and most of his supporters have either fled the country or fled the country. Imprisoned.

Navalny was treated by Western doctors for nerve agent poisoning but was quickly detained before deciding to return to Russia from Germany in 2021.

President Putin, who controls all state power and is expected to be successfully re-elected for another six-year term in two weeks, has not yet commented on Navalny’s death, saying that he has not yet commented on Navalny’s death. He has avoided mentioning his name.

Although Navalny is well known in the West, Russia’s state television has not mentioned him for years, and when it has, it has been brief and negative.

The service for Navalny is scheduled to be held at 2:00 p.m. local time at the Church of the Icon of Our Lady of Maryino in the Moscow region, where Navalny once lived.

He will be buried two hours later at the Borisovskoye cemetery, about 2.5 kilometers away on the other side of the Moskva River.

Allies of Mr. Navalny, who is outside Russia and is listed by authorities as a U.S.-backed extremist, asked people who wanted to pay respects to Mr. Navalny but were unable to attend his funeral to visit their town instead on Friday night. Called out to go to a specific landmark. 7pm local time.

The Kremlin dismissed the allies’ statements as provocative and warned that police would abide by the law.

Judging from previous rallies by Navalny’s supporters, a heavy police presence is likely, and authorities will disperse anything they deem to resemble a political demonstration under protest laws.

Navalny’s wife Yulia, who had two children with him, said she did not know whether the funeral itself would be peaceful or whether police would arrest mourners. She is outside Russia.

Navalny’s mother Lyudmila, 69, plans to attend the funeral. It is unclear who else will be allowed into the church for services.

Navalny, a Christian, denounced Putin’s decision to send tens of thousands of troops to Ukraine as a crazy plan based on lies. However, the church hosting his funeral donated to the Russian military and enthusiastically promoted support for the war effort.

In the run-up to his funeral, his allies have accused authorities of thwarting plans to hold a larger public memorial service and have also threatened to hire a hearse to transport him to his own funeral. Even their attempts to do so were successfully thwarted by unknown persons, he said.

The Kremlin has said it had nothing to do with Navalny’s funeral arrangements.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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