Russia, Alexei Navalny

Reports of arrests, disruptions at Navalny's funeral

The funeral of the Russian opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, has started and reports of disruptions and riots are accumulating. Putin has labeled the event as an illegal demonstration.

Alexei Navalny at a protest with his wife (Photo: Dmitry Laudin/Shutterstock)

The funeral of the leader of the Russian opposition, Alexei Navalny, has started. Foreign news teams at the site report reception blockages and disruption of internet broadcasts.

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny died in a Russian prison on February 16 after authorities alleged he "was not feeling well after walking around the prison grounds and collapsed." His funeral is got underway at 2 pm Moscow time.

The dead activist's wife and family discussed a series of difficulties in organizing his funeral. According to Navalny's wife and mother, they were unable to get a vehicle to move his body to the burial place, this after "certain factors" in their words threatened the funeral drivers who agreed to take part in the ceremony. Navalny's wife spoke of growing fears of mass arrests and government abuse of funeral processes.

Despite a large police presence and barricades, mourners applauded the fallen leader as his body passed them en-route to his burial place.

"You weren't afraid, and neither are we!", they shouted.

Navalny's wife, Yulia, has repeatedly blamed Putin for his death, but Moscow denies these charges. Navalny was serving a three-year prison term in a penal colony in the Arctic Circle.

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