Navalny funeral set for Friday: Spokesperson

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The funeral for Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been scheduled for the end of the week, a spokesperson for the late rival of Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Wednesday.

The funeral will be open to the public and will be held Friday at 2 p.m. MSK (Moscow Standard Time) at a church in the Maryino District of the capital city, called the Church of the Icon of the Mother of God “Quench My Sorrows.” Navalny will be buried at a cemetery nearby.

Navalny died earlier this month in the highest-security penal colony in the Arctic Circle. President Biden and other world leaders have placed blame on Putin and the Kremlin for the death, though Russian authorities have yet to determine a cause.

Kira Yarmysh, Navalny’s spokesperson, said scheduling the funeral came with many difficulties, as many places refused to host the funeral.

Yarmysh explained in a post on X, formerly Twitter, that those close to the Putin critic “have been looking for a place where we can organize a farewell event,” and have “called most of the private and public funeral agencies, commercial venues and funeral halls,” in a post on

“Some of them say the place is fully booked. Some refuse when we mention the surname ‘Navalny,'” she wrote Tuesday morning. “In one place, we were told that the funeral agencies were forbidden to work with us. After a day of searching, we still haven’t found the farewell hall.”

Ivan Zhdanov, director of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, said originally the funeral and farewell ceremony had been scheduled for Feb. 29, but, Putin and his allies went to great lengths to prevent the funeral from taking place on the same day as the Russian leader’s annual address to the Federal Assembly.

He said Russian officials “returned to blackmail” to try to compel the family to hold a “quiet family funeral.”

“And it quickly became clear that by February 29th there was not a single person who could dig a grave,” Zhdanov wrote, according to translation. “By the 1st it is possible and by the 28th it is possible, but on the 29th the grave is not being dug.”

“The real reason is clear. The Kremlin understands that nobody will need Putin and his message on the day of farewell to Alexei,” he said. “We don’t care about the message.”

Yulia Navalnaya, the wife of the late opposition leader, said Wednesday she was also worried about possible arrests taking place at her husband’s funeral.

“I thought that in the 12 days since Alexei’s death, I would have time to prepare for this speech,” Navalnaya said Wednesday in her address to the European parliament. “But first, we spent a week getting Alexei’s body and organizing a funeral. Then I chose the cemetery and the coffin,”

“The funeral will take place tomorrow and I am not sure yet whether it will be peaceful or whether the police will arrest those who have come to say goodbye to Alexei,” she added.

In the wake of her husband’s death, Navalnaya, has vowed to take up Navalny’s work and fight against Putin and corruption in Russia.

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