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Alexei Navalny’s funeral lifts spirits as many feared hope died with Russian opposition chief | World Information

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It’s arduous to know that Alexei Navalny is gone.

Navalny was a colossus of a person, whose power, irreverence and astonishing dedication touched a chord with so many in Russia who opposed Vladimir Putin‘s rule and who dreamed their nation could be totally different.

His death felt private to them.

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That’s the reason so many hundreds got here to honour him in Moscow on the funeral that his mom, Lyudmila Navalnaya, fought so hard to have.

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They queued alongside the pavements on each side of the church in lengthy, orderly strains.

Individuals crowded on to the stairways of neighbouring retailers to attempt to get a glimpse because the coffin went into the church.

They knew they have been unlikely to get in themselves, however they wished to be there for the ceremony earlier than strolling the half-hour on to the Borisovskoye cemetery within the hope they might even have their likelihood to say goodbye.

Crowds collect close to the Borisovskoye cemetery throughout Navalny’s funeral. Pic: Reuters

Flowers laid in memory of Alexei Navalny in Moscow
Flowers laid in reminiscence of Alexei Navalny in Moscow

Alongside the way in which they chanted: “Alexei” and “Navalny”, but additionally “No to warfare” and “Russia can be free”.

These final have been chants of {old}, from the times – not so way back however they appear like a lifetime – when there have been rallies in Russia.

However not “We won’t forgive”, “We thank the dad and mom for his or her son” or “Navalny our hero!”.

These have been distinctive to this second, to its ache and emotion.

Nobody wished this rally to descend into police chaos. They have been cautious to protect the solemnity of the event and, for his or her half, the police did the identical.

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Russian police verify IDs of Navalny mourners

“It is rather troublesome to remain clever and never be overwhelmed with anger,” mentioned 70-year-old Tatyana.

“It is rather unhappy as a result of I believe I will not see the tip of this tragedy with my nation, my beloved nation or the tragedy of this warfare.

“I got here right here to have a look at folks and to not really feel alone.”

When Navalny died, many individuals mentioned to us they felt that hope had died with him.

Lyudmila Navalnaya, the mother of late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, attends a funeral service and a farewell ceremony for her son at the Soothe My Sorrows church in Moscow, Russia, March 1, 2024. REUTERS/Stringer
Alexei Navalny’s mom Lyudmila Navalnaya attends the funeral service for her son. Pic: Reuters/Stringer

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Unseen Navalny interview unearthed

However this turnout appeared to carry spirits.

“I really feel despair and crushing unhappiness,” mentioned Barbara.

“However on the identical time, you are feeling impressed by seeing hundreds of individuals gathering right here as we speak, regardless of the whole lot they may face by doing so – and that offers you hope greater than anything.”

Could it present solace, too, to all of his supporters in exile who couldn’t be there.

Could it show some consolation to his spouse, Yulia, and their two kids, who for their very own security couldn’t attend their very own father’s funeral.

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Navalny widow: ‘Putin can’t be negotiated with’

On social media, Yulia paid tribute to her husband, whilst her mom sat with Lyudmila within the cemetery and watched because the mourners handed by.

“I do not know how one can reside with out you”, Yulia wrote, “however I’ll attempt to make you cheerful for me up there and happy with me.

“I do not know if I can deal with it however I’ll attempt.”

FILE PHOTO: Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his wife Yulia attend a hearing at the Lublinsky district court in Moscow, Russia, April 23, 2015. REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva/File Photo
Navalny and his spouse Yulia attend a listening to in Moscow in 2015. Pic: Reuters

His daughter, Dasha, additionally wrote to her father: “You gave your life for me, for Mum, for Zakhar, for Russia. And I promise that I’ll reside my life the way in which you taught me, so that you’re happy with me and most significantly, with the identical smile on my face.”

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Alexei Navalny stored smiling, proper till the tip.

In his last-ever public look, the day earlier than his loss of life, by way of video-link from the penal colony in Russia’s Far North, he was grinning and joking with the decide and prosecutors.

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His humour was so infectious that they have been laughing too.

To face probably the most terrifying hardships with good humour, certainly that’s the very essence of braveness.

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