Espreso. Global

No hearse agrees to take his body - Navalny's supporters on funeral challenges

29 February, 2024 Thursday

Alexei Navalny's associates said that funeral agencies are receiving threats and no hearse agrees to take the body of the Russian politician to church

This is reported by Radio Liberty.

Thus, Navalny's spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said that at first they could not find a funeral hall to say goodbye to the politician.

"At first, we were not allowed to rent a funeral hall to say goodbye to Alexei. Now, when a simple funeral service is to take place in the church, the funeral agents tell us that no hearse agrees to take the body there," Yarmysh said.

"All the hearse drivers are receiving calls from unknown people threatening them not to take Oleksiy's body out of the morgue and not to take it anywhere. This is pure madness," said another opposition leader Leonid Volkov.

Navalny's funeral is scheduled to take place in a church in Moscow's Maryino district, where he lived, and his burial is planned for nearby Borisovskoye Cemetery. Navalny's supporters have been invited to attend the funeral. At the same time, fresh posters banning audio and video recording were posted in the church where the funeral service was to take place.

On February 27, Kira Yarmysh stated on the social media platform X that Navalny's associates were unable to find a room for the funeral.

"Since yesterday, we have been looking for a room where we can hold a farewell to Alexei. We have called most private and public funeral agencies, commercial venues and funeral halls," she said.

Yarmysh explained that some agencies refused, arguing that they did not have free space, while others explicitly stated that they were banned from working with Navalny's team.

"In some places, they say that the premises are occupied. In some places, they refuse to let us in at the mention of the name Navalny. In one place, we were told outright that funeral agencies were banned from working with us. After a day of searching, there is no room for the funeral," Navalny's spokeswoman said.

Navalny's death in Russian prison: what is known

On Friday, February 16, the Federal Penitentiary Service of the Russian Federation announced the death of the imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

On the same day, hundreds of protesters took to the streets of European cities to express their outrage over Navalny's death, blaming it on Putin. In Russia, they were not allowed to lay flowers in memory of the oppositionist.

Navalny's relatives were refused to show or give his body to him. Before that, the Russian exile newspaper Novaya Gazeta. Europe reported that Alexei Navalny's body was allegedly covered with bruises. This could be either due to beatings or convulsions caused by the poison effect.

Citing its own sources in Russia's Investigative Committee and Navalny's entourage, the Russian opposition outlet Sota reported that he died of gradual poisoning by small doses.

The head of the Bundestag Defense Committee, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, said that the death of the Russian opposition leader should prompt German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to send Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine, while Republican Senator Lindsey Graham called for Russia to be declared a state sponsor of terrorism.

As of February 19, more than 400 activists were detained in 32 Russian cities after the death of Putin's opponent during flower-laying events.

The Lithuanian and German foreign ministers said that after Navalny's death, the EU should at least strengthen sanctions against Russia. EU Diplomacy Chief Josep Borrell said that EU members would propose a new package against the Kremlin.

On Monday and Tuesday, February 19-20, the foreign ministries of numerous European countries summoned Russian ambassadors to the carpet over Navalny's death.

On February 20, it became known that Putin had promoted Deputy Director of the Federal Penitentiary Service Boyarynev to colonel general after Navalny died in the colony.

On Saturday, February 24, the mother of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who died in prison, succeeded in getting the authorities to return her son's body.

On Monday, February 26, associates of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said that an exchange of the politician was being prepared in Russia on the eve of his death.

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