Crowd of Navalny supporters

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Edited by Nathan Williams and Sam Hancock

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  1. Navalny’s funeral biggest opposition gathering for three years

    Vitaliy Shevchenko

    Russia editor, BBC Monitoring

    People walk towards Borisovsky cemetery in Moscow for Alexei Navalny's funeral

    Copyright: Reuters

    Today saw the largest opposition gathering in Russia since
    Alexei Navalny’s jailing in January 2021.

    The fact that it was allowed to
    happen suggests the Kremlin may have been worried about the
    optics of not allowing the late opposition leader’s family to bury him, or of
    arresting mourners at a church or cemetery.

    It’s also possible that the authorities in Moscow didn’t see the ceremony as enough of a threat.

    They’ll be hoping now that the
    mourners quietly dissipate and – with no organised opposition to speak of left
    in Russia – the Kremlin will hope it won’t have to worry about Navalny’s cause again.

  2. ‘It is not scary when we are together’

    Let’s bring you some more voices of mourners at Navalny’s funeral.
    As in our previous post, we are keeping them anonymous.

    One said they feel comfortable knowing they are in the company
    of like-minded people, that “it is not scary when we are together”.

    “We came just to honour the memory of the person who was
    not scared of anything,” they added.

    Another added that it was “important to see people who
    agree that what happened is terrible”.

    “[Navalny] is a person who once made me interested in
    politics… he inspired many people,” said another.

  3. Watch: Terminator 2 theme plays at Navalny’s burial

    Video content

    Video caption: Terminator 2 song plays at Navalny’s burial

    The Terminator 2 theme song was played after Navalny’s coffin was lowered into the ground.

    “[Navalny] thought Terminator 2 was the best film in the whole world,” his spokeswoman Kira Yarmish said.

  4. Navalny ‘a shining example of what Russia could be’, US embassy says

    The French and American ambassadors to Russia stand with red roses near the Soothe My Sorrows church before a funeral service and a farewell ceremony for Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny

    Copyright: Reuters

    Image caption: Foreign diplomats, including French ambassador to Russia Pierre Levy and the US ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy, are pictured waiting outside the church ahead of Navalny’s funeral

    Shortly after the body of Alexei Navalny had been laid to rest in a cemetery outside Moscow, the US embassy in Russia released a statement memorialising the deceased opposition leader as “a shining example of what Russia could & should be”.

    “His death is a tragic reminder of the lengths the Kremlin will go to silence its critics. Our hearts go out to his family, friends, supporters, & all those he has inspired to work for a brighter future,” the embassy said in a post shared on X.

    Lynne Tracy, the US ambassador to Russia, was seen earlier in the day laying flowers at a memorial for the late opposition leader, alongside her Western counterparts from Germany and France.

  5. In pictures: Large crowds in Moscow pay tribute to Navalny

    Thousands of people have attended Alexei Navalny’s church funeral service, and later saw his coffin being lowered into the ground at a cemetery in south-eastern Moscow.

    They gathered despite significant risks of repression from the authorities.

    Here are some of the photos from today’s ceremony in the Russian capital.

    People walk towards Moscow's Borisovskoye cemetery for Alexei Navalny's funeral

    Copyright: Reuters

    Image caption: Mourners defiantly chanted “Navalny!” and “Thank you! as they walked to Borisovkoye cemetery for Navalny’s burial. Many also shouted “Putin is a killer!” in a reference to Russia’s president

    Funeral service workers carry out Alexei Navalny's coffin after his church funeral service

    Copyright: EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

    Image caption: Earlier, many clapped as Navalny’s coffin was brought out after a church funeral service

    Flowers along Alexei Navalny's funeral route in Moscow

    Copyright: Reuters

    Image caption: The mile-long funeral route from the church to the cemetery was covered in flowers

    Alexey Navalny's parents, Anatoliy (centre) and Lyudmila (right), during his funeral service

    Copyright: Reuters

    Image caption: Navalny’s parents, Anatoliy (centre) and Lyudmila (right), were among the mourners

    Russian police gather near Borisovsky cemetery in Moscow

    Copyright: Reuters

    Image caption: There was a heavy police presence on the site – but no reports of any disturbances so far
  6. BreakingDetentions reported during Navalny funeral

    Russian police detain a man near Borisovskoye cemetery in Moscow

    Copyright: Reuters

    least two people – including an opposition politician – have been detained
    during and after Navalny’s funeral in Moscow, media reports say.

    They say several people were also held in the cites of
    Ekaterinburg and Novosibirsk in central Russia.

    The Russian authorities have not publicly commented on
    the issue.

  7. German chancellor praises ‘courageous Russians’

    Paying tributes to Navalny, German Chancellor Olaf Scholtz says
    the opposition leader “paid with his life for his fight for democracy and

    “After his death, courageous Russians are carrying on his
    legacy: many of them were at the funeral today and took a big risk – for
    freedom,” he says on X (formerly Twitter).

  8. ‘Now is not the time to be a coward’

    A huge crowd of people in the snow. A chapel sits on a hill nearby

    Copyright: Reuters

    Image caption: The crowd at Borisovskoye cemetery today

    Some mourners who attended Navalny’s funeral have spoken about their reasons for taking the risk to be there. We’ve kept them anonymous.

    One said Navalny’s death was a “killing of a brave, of an honest man, who wanted a great future for his country” and they felt compelled to honour him.

    Another said that this was “not the time to be a coward in Russia”, and the risk of arrest was due to the Russian government’s fear of Navalny’s supporters.

    “We are only people with the flowers in grief and that’s all. They are afraid of us,” they said.

  9. Navalny’s brother Oleg pays tribute to him

    Navalny’s brother Oleg, whose whereabouts are currently unknown, has posted a tribute on Instagram.

    Under photos of the two of them, he writes:

    Quote Message: Sleep easy, brother, and don’t worry about a thing.”

  10. Huge personal risk for mourners showing up today

    Olga Ivshina

    BBC Russian Service

    A crowd of people, some holding roses, walk towards the Borisovskoye cemetery where Alexei Navalny was buried

    Copyright: Reuters

    Thousands of people came today to pay their respects to
    Alexei Navalny – and they did so despite significant personal risks that may

    At least 400 people were
    detained just for laying flowers on the day of his death, 16 February. And we know for a
    fact that at least some of them later lost their jobs with a clear message
    that this was because of their political position.

    We don’t yet know what may follow for people who have come to
    the church and cemetery today, but mourners definitely needed some bravery to show up.

    There’s been a significant police presence today, with dozens of
    security personnel in uniform. But from my eight years’ experience covering events like this, there could well be a few dozen more (at least) plain clothes officers closely monitoring the situation and taking pictures of those present.

    Russian courts have labelled both Navalny and his
    organisation extremists, so any association with them can lead to serious

  11. Cemetery where Navalny buried about to close

    Borisovskoye cemetery – where Alexei Navalny has been buried – is due to close very soon, at 17:00 local time (14:00 GMT).

    Large crowds have been seen there paying their last respects to the Russian opposition leader, risking the possibility of arrest in the process.

    But it’s unclear what happens next – will they be forced to leave or allowed to stay on?

  12. Navalny’s wife thanks him for ’26 years of absolute happiness’

    Navalny embraces his spouse Yulia

    Copyright: Getty Images

    Navalny’s wife Yulia and two children currently live abroad, and have decided not to travel to Russia reportedly amid concerns of possible repression from the Kremlin.

    In a poignant tribute to her husband on Instagram, Yulia thanked him for “26 years of absolute happiness”.

    “I don’t know how to live without you, but I will try to do it so you – up there – would be happy and proud of me.

    “We will definitely meet one day,” Yulia added.

    She also posted footage of some of the most memorable moments of the couple’s lives.

  13. Surreal scenes at Navalny’s funeral

    Laura Gozzi

    Europe reporter

    We’re yet to establish exactly how many people attended Alexei Navalny’s funeral today – but it’s definitely in the thousands.

    There was a heavy police presence, but hours after the proceedings started there were no reports of any arrests.

    Perhaps the feeling there was strength in numbers as people chanted “no to war”, “Russia without Putin” and “Russia will be free”.

    Many have routinely been arrested simply for carrying signs bearing these slogans.

    Today, emboldened by the occasion, a crowd of thousands chanted them.

    For those of us used to watching Russia closely, it felt surreal.

  14. Sinatra followed by… The Terminator 2

    We’re now hearing that The Terminator 2 theme song was played out after Navalny’s coffin was lowered into the ground.

    “[Navalny] thought The Terminator 2 was the best film in the whole world,” his spokeswoman Kira Yarmish said.

  15. Navalny casket lowered into the ground

    The lid is now closed on Navalny’s casket before being lowered into the ground.

    Playing in the background at Borisovskoye Cemetery is Frank Sinatra’s My Way.

  16. BreakingNavalny burial begins

    Alexei Navalny’s burial has now begun.

    The live stream from Borisovskoye cemetery shows mourners paying their last tributes at the opposition leader’s open casket.

  17. Watch: Crowds chant Navalny’s name as coffin arrives

    As we reported earlier, large crowds gathered outside of the Church of the Icon of Our Lady Quench My Sorrow in Moscow for the funeral of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

    When his coffin arrived, crowds could be heard chanting his name.

    You can watch that moment back here:

    Video content

    Video caption: Crowds chant Navalny’s name as his coffin arrives
  18. Thank you for your son, mourners say to Navalny’s mother

    Lyudmila Navalnaya

    Copyright: Reuters

    Navalny’s mother, Lyudmila, was seen being greeted by mourners outside the church shortly after the funeral service ended.

    In a video shared on social media, several people could be seen approaching and hugging her, saying: “Thank you for your son” and “forgive us”.

  19. Pictures show Navalny’s open casket

    As we’ve mentioned, cameras were not allowed to film the funeral service inside the church. However, people attending have obviously been able to take pictures of the proceedings.

    One photo, widely circulated on social media, shows Navalny’s open casket.

    This is commonplace in the Russian Orthodox tradition and means mourners can see and touch the face of the deceased.

    In the picture, which is at the bottom of this post, Navalny is seen lying in his coffin, covered in red and white roses.

    He is surrounded by people – including his mother, Lyudmila, and his father, Anatoliy – holding candles. An Orthodox priest stands nearby.

    Navalny laying in his coffin

    Copyright: Navalny team Telegram

  20. BreakingNavalny’s coffin arrives at cemetery

    The hearse carrying Alexei Navalny’s coffin has now arrived at Borisovskoye cemetery – just over a mile away from the church where the funeral service was held.