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Alexei Navalny funeral: Family of Putin arch-nemesis gather to say goodbye in Moscow

Family and supporters of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny gathered in Moscow today for his funeral, weeks after his death in a Russian prison.

Hundreds lined up outside the church where Navalny’s body was to be laid to rest. They chanted his name as the coffin was carried inside for the service.

Navalny’s body was released to his family after they pleaded with Russian authorities. He died on February 16th at a penal colony in Kharp, about 145 miles from Moscow. Prison officials stated he collapsed and died suddenly during an evening walk, but suspicions swirled that he was killed for his outspoken criticism of President Vladimir Putin.

Navalny was Putin’s most prominent opponent. His death sparked outrage and accusations from Western leaders that Putin was responsible. President Biden stated “there is no doubt that the death of Navalny was a consequence of something that Putin and his thugs did.”

The circumstances of Navalny’s death remain “murky.” Supporters say his killing shows the weakness and corruption of Putin’s authoritarian system. Navalny himself once said that any attempt to kill him would prove the opposition’s strength.

His wife Yulia Navalnaya has vowed to continue his work exposing corruption and campaigning for democratic reforms in Russia. Navalny’s funeral brings a country in mourning together to honor his bravery and sacrifice in opposing Putin’s regime.