Europe

Navalny’s Funeral to Be Held on Friday, Spokeswoman Says

Aleksei A. Navalny, the Russian opposition leader, will be buried on Friday after a funeral service in Moscow that will be open to the public, his spokeswoman said on Wednesday, setting up the possibility of a rare display of opposition sentiment in the Russian capital.

“Come early,” the spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh, wrote on social media. But mourners will still be taking a risk by attending. Hundreds of people who turned out across Russia at spontaneous memorials for Mr. Navalny after his death were detained, according to OVD-Info, a Russian-based rights group that tracks arrests.

Ever since the Russian authorities reported Mr. Navalny’s death, on Feb. 16, his associates have said that the Kremlin has tried to prevent a funeral for him in Moscow that could draw thousands of mourners and become a flashpoint for dissent. At one point, his team says, the authorities in the Arctic region where Mr. Navalny died in a penal colony threatened to bury him on the prison grounds if his mother did not agree to a private funeral. The Kremlin has denied being involved in any such discussions.

Mr. Navalny’s supporters and family appear to have prevailed about the funeral service, at least in part, but the authorities still seem to have succeeded in preventing a public wake for him.

A top aide to Mr. Navalny, Ivan Zhdanov, said on Wednesday that the dead opposition leader’s team had been unable to secure a hall for a wake before the funeral because of pressure by the authorities on venue owners. He also said that the team had been unable to hold the funeral this Thursday, as they had originally planned, because the date coincides with President Vladimir V. Putin’s annual state-of-the-nation speech.

“In the Kremlin, they understand that no one will care about Putin and his speech on the day of the farewell to Aleksei,” Mr. Zhdanov wrote on social media.

The funeral will be held at 2 p.m. at the Church of the Icon of the Mother of God Soothe My Sorrows, a Russian Orthodox church at least a half-hour subway ride from central Moscow. Mr. Navalny lived in Maryino, the neighborhood where the church is situated, until 2017, according to Russian news reports. He will be buried in the nearby Borisovskoye Cemetery, Ms. Yarmysh said.

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