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Thousands pay homage to Alexey Navalny, the funeral turns into a protest

Fear was not enough, made more concrete by the deployment of police forces and the threat of ending up in prison, as had already happened to a hundred people who had paid homage to Alexey Navalny. His funeral attracted thousands of people, who gathered and turned that moment of farewell into a small protestperhaps the start of something more.

On the other hand, Vladimir Putin's political opponent – who suddenly died in prison at the age of 47, after having already been poisoned with Novichock in the summer of 2020 – had given a very clear message to the population: “You are not allowed to give up”, he said in a documentary about his life by CNN. «If they decide to kill me it means we are incredibly strong. We must use this power, not give up, remember that we are a huge power that is being oppressed by these evil people.”

So it was: yesterday, thousands of people gathered in a small church in Maryino, a suburb of Moscowand gave their final farewell to Navalny by chanting anti-Putin slogans, without the police forces intervening despite one of the very rare forms of demonstrations in Russia taking place in front of them. A long stream of people accompanied the coffin by Alexey Navalny towards the Borisovsky cemetery, where the Russian opposition leader was buried to the tune of My Way by Frank Sinatra and the soundtrack of his favorite film, Terminator 2.

Next to the coffin, his mother Ludmillawho fought for days to obtain this public funeral, without giving in to the secret ceremony proposed by the Kremlin, and Navalny's widow, Juliawho greeted him with a message on social media: “I don't know how to live without you, but I will try to make you up there happy for me and proud of me.”

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The funeral went ahead peacefully, although monitored by the police and with the warning that any unauthorized demonstration would be punished. Effectively, over a hundred people in several Russian cities were stopped by the police for participating in Navalny's commemorations. Among them a local leader of the progressive Yabloko party, Andrei Morev, stopped while returning from the funeral ceremony.

Yet, there is still no shortage of flowers on Navalny's coffin, despite the threats.

Source: Vanity Fair

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