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Burying Navalny Live updates as Muscovites bid farewell to Alexey Navalny

What’s happening: Loved ones and supporters attend funeral services for the late opposition leader Alexey Navalny.

Where: Funeral services began around 2 p.m. Moscow time (6 a.m. EST) at the Church of the Icon of Our Lady Soothe My Sorrows, and Navalny’s burial took place shortly afterward at nearby Borisovskoye Cemetery.

YouTube livestreams: Team Navalny (in Russian), The Associated Press, and The Independent (no narration)

Summary of today’s live coverage

  • After a rushed church ceremony where only family and close loved ones were admitted, Alexey Navalny was buried at Moscow’s Borisovskoye Cemetery. The music that accompanied his farewell ceremony was Frank Sinatra’s “My Way,” and the Terminator film theme music played as his coffin was lowered into the ground.
  • The general public was finally admitted to the cemetery shortly before its scheduled closing time.
  • Eyewitnesses reported hearing provocateurs in the crowd who urged demonstrators to march on the Kremlin. They were later allowed behind police barricades after making special hand gestures at the officers on duty.
  • Navalny’s widow, Yulia Navanalya, posted a memorial video online dedicated to her late husband. She and their children did not come to Russia to attend the funeral for personal safety reasons.
  • Public monitoring officials in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug inspected the prison where Navalny died and declared that they found no health or safety violations.
This concludes our live coverage of Alexey Navalny’s funeral and burial services. For further updates, please visit Meduza’s main website.

‘Putin killed him but didn’t break him’

A mourner in a tree holds a sign outside the Borisovskoye Cemetery.

Makeshift memorial for Navalny outside of the cemetery

Police try to disperse crowd as cemetery closes to visitors

The entrance to the Borisovskoye Cemetery has been closed and police have begun trying to move the crowd away from the fence, according to the Telegram channel Mozhem Obyasnit.

Most people who came to bid farewell to Alexey Navalny were reportedly unable to get to his grave.

Mourners are leaving flowers in the snow outside the entrance to the nearest subway station.

Mourners toss soil into Navalny’s grave as they say their final goodbyes

Plainclothes officers reportedly infiltrate crowd of mourners

The news outlet Mediazona says two readers in the crowd of Navalny’s mourners independently reported that police officers are allowing “strange men in civilian clothes” (apparent provocateurs) to cross behind official barricades after gesturing a “V” symbol with their fingers. Earlier, the same men reportedly shouted that mourners should march on the Kremlin to end their “slavery.”

During past demonstrations, Russian police departments have placed plainclothes officers in crowds who deliberately instigate unruly behavior to trigger more aggressive policing tactics.

Past closing time at the cemetery

It’s 5 p.m. in Moscow. The Borisovskoye Cemetery officially closes at this time. So far, there have been no reports of police closing the entrance.

Arrests in Siberia

Seven people were detained in Novosibirsk during a rally in memory of Navalny, which took place at the Monument to the Victims of Political Repression, reports human rights advocacy group OVD-Info.

One eyewitness reported that people were being taken into a police van and then let go after having their documents checked. Police have reportedly been on duty near the monument since the morning.

In Vladivostok, access to a memorial was blocked off by construction workers under the pretext of repair work. Police have also been on duty near the Monument to the Victims of Political Repression in Tomsk.

U.S. Embassy in Russia pays tribute to Alexey Navalny

Alexey Navalny’s parents at their son’s interment ceremony

Olga Maltseva / AFP / Scanpix / LETA
Olga Maltseva / AFP / Scanpix / LETA

Navalny’s brother, Oleg, bids farewell in an Instagram post:

Rest easy, brother, and don’t worry about a thing 💔

Mourners leave flowers at a portrait of Alexey Navalny near his grave in Moscow’s Borisovskoye Cemetery.

Public access to cemetery reported granted

Borisovskoye Cemetery has reportedly started admitting the general public to view Navalny’s grave. The cemetery’s scheduled closing time is less than 25 minutes from now.

Navalny’s coffin has been lowered into his grave

After Navalny’s coffin was lowered, people standing nearby threw handfuls of soil into the grave. The orchestra played the theme music from the Terminator films in a nod to the finale of Terminator 2, when Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800 is incinerated in molten steel while gesturing a thumbs-up. As Navalny associate Leonid Volkov commented, Navalny often called Terminator 2 “the greatest film of all time.”

Yulia Navalnaya bids farewell to her husband in Instagram post

Lyosha, thank you for 26 years of utter happiness. Yes, even for the last three years of happiness. For the love, for always supporting me, for making me laugh even from prison, and for always thinking about me.

I don’t know how to live without you, but I’ll try to live in a way that will make you happy and proud of me up there. I don’t know if I’ll manage or not, but I’ll try.

I know we’ll meet again one day. There are so many stories I haven’t told you, so many songs I’ve saved in my phone for you — silly ones, funny ones, and, to be honest, awful ones, but they’re songs about us, and I wanted so much to show them to you. I wanted so badly to see you listen to them, laugh, and then hug me.

I love you forever. Rest in peace.

Church was reportedly ‘ordered’ to rush Navalny’s funeral service

Sergey Chapnin, a senior research associate at Fordham University’s Orthodox Christian Studies Center, wrote on Facebook that the rector of the Church of the Icon of Our Lady Soothe My Sorrows, Anatoly Rodionov, was “ordered” to rush Alexey Navalny’s funeral services, allegedly to prevent the services from being a mass public event, said Team Navalny associate Leonid Volkov.

Mourners demand entrance to cemetery

A crowd of mourners has assembled outside Borisovskoye Cemetery and is chanting, “Lyosha [Alexey], we’re with you!”

People still coming to cemetery

People wishing to say their farewells to Alexey Navalny are still making their way to Moscow’s Borisovskoye Cemetery.


Navalny’s coffin lowered

Navalny’s coffin is being lowered into the ground to the song “My Way” by Frank Sinatra, reports Navalny associate Ivan Zhdanov.

First reported arrest at Navalny’s funeral

Navalny’s coffin has been closed for the final time and the interment ceremony is beginning.

Video taken from inside the church during Navalny’s funeral


How the burial will happen

Ivan Zhdanov, the head of Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation, explained how the burial ceremony will go:

Right now, they’ll bring out the casket. They’ll open the casket lid. His family will say goodbye. Then they’ll close the casket and lower it with a special device. Then everybody will be able to come up to it and throw in handfuls of dirt.

Photo from inside the church during Navalny’s funeral ceremony


Internet in the vicinity of the funeral isn’t working properly

“We’ve confirmed it: [we’ve] recorded another case of mobile [Internet] shutdown in Russia — the Internet being shut down on the authorities’ orders,” Internet Protection Society head Mikhail Klimarev wrote on Telegram.

He explained that cell towers are currently operating in UMTS mode, or 3G, which is an outdated form of mobile Internet.

Explaining further, he mentioned that cellular towers are currently operating in UMTS mode:

This is an outdated type of Internet: 3G.  It sort of works (probably), but it has a significantly lower capacity for simultaneous connections. As a result, the network is overloaded and the Internet doesn’t function properly.

Police block vehicle carrying coffin

Navalny ally Ivan Zhdanov says police have blocked the vehicle transporting the pallbearers to the cemetery. “Because of this, the car carrying the coffin is just sitting next to the cemetery and they’re not carrying Alexey out.”

Mourners applaud Navalny’s mother, Lyudmila, telling her, “Thank you for your son.”

Mourners chant, “Putin is a murderer!”

Only 300 or so mourners allowed inside the church

A correspondent for Novaya Gazeta newspaper reports that fewer than 300 people were allowed to attend Navalny’s funeral services, which “were held as quickly as possible.” Thousands of mourners gathered outside the church.

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