Russia | Tribute to opponent Navalny 40 days after his death

(Moscow) Alexei Navalny’s family and supporters paid tribute to Vladimir Putin’s former number one detractor on Tuesday, 40 days after his death in prison, a step in the Orthodox religion towards life in the afterlife .

In the Orthodox rite, the soul of the deceased must be purified during this period after death. At the end of the 40 days, a commemoration takes place so that the prayers of family and loved ones help the soul reach paradise.

At the Borissovo cemetery, in the southeast of Moscow, dozens of supporters of the opponent who died in prison in circumstances that remained opaque on February 16 brought flowers and gathered in front of his grave in the morning, noted a AFP journalist.

Artiom, a young man of 28, says he is still “devastated” a month and a half after the death of the man “who embodied the brilliant future of our country and the Russia that we all want to see” one day.

However, he assures that he has “hope” thanks to Yulia Navalnaïa, the widow of the anti-corruption activist, who said she is taking up the torch from her husband in his fight against Vladimir Putin and those close to him.

In exile, Yulia Navalnaïa, who cannot go to Russia for fear of being arrested there, published a message on social networks.

“Today marks 40 days since Alexei’s assassination,” she wrote on X, thanking “all those who remember.”

In front of the cemetery, Anna, a 24-year-old girl who is visibly very moved, believes that the death of the opponent in mid-February has made her supporters stronger.

“We realized that although Alexei is no longer here, we are not alone,” she wants to believe.

A feeling shared by Tatiana, a 50-year-old teacher who says she lost her job for opposing the Russian assault in Ukraine: “At first there is great sadness, a hope that is dying… But from a on the other hand, this person already becomes an absolute moral reference.”

” A hero ”

Tuesday morning, Alexei Navalny’s mother, Lyoudmila, was seen at the Borissovo cemetery, accompanied by Alla Abrossimova, mother of the deceased’s widow, Yulia Navalnaïa. Both women were dressed in black.

The opponent’s father, Anatoli, also visited the scene.


Lyoudmila Navalnaya and Anatoly Navalny, parents of Alexeï Navalny

The grave, topped with a large wooden cross, was covered with flowers and wreaths.

Irina Loukashova, a 65-year-old retiree, already present at the opponent’s funeral, returned Tuesday to pay tribute to a “brave, wonderful” man.

“He’s a hero,” she assures, sobs in her voice. If she says she is “horrified” by the current situation in the country, she promises: “Good will still prevail”.

Russian authorities have claimed that Navalny died of natural causes in prison, while his relatives believe that the opponent, who had already survived poisoning and was weakened by very harsh detention conditions, was killed.

Tuesday, Yulia Navalnaïa also relayed a song which celebrates the life of her husband: “The darkness does not scare us, Liosha (short for Alexeï, Editor’s note), we will not give up”, says the text in particular.

In mid-March, after the unopposed re-election of Vladimir Putin, she called for “not to give in” and to “move forward”.

The Kremlin is carrying out merciless repression of all its detractors, no longer tolerating any criticism in particular since the launch of the assault on Ukraine in February 2022.


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