Thousands of people have gathered at this time in front of the Moscow church where the funeral is being held and the funeral chapel is installed, a tense day in which Navalni’s supporters assured early today on social networks that the police could hinder access to the church, where the funeral ceremony will begin at 2:00 p.m. local time (11:00 GMT).

Both in the temple and in the adjacent cemetery, where the politician will be buried, metal fences have been installed and a significant police force has been deployed. Surveillance cameras and other devices that can serve as internet and mobile phone signal inhibitors have also been installed.

For a few days now, the opposition’s team has been reporting “obstacles” to organizing the funeral. First, all the funeral agencies refused to take care of the funerals. Then the politician’s co-religionists could not agree on the date of the funeral, because “there was not a single person available to dig a grave” on February 29, the day chosen by the family that coincided with Putin’s speech on the state of the nation.

Navalni’s team reported this morning that the opposition’s relatives arrived at the morgue to collect the politician’s body, but were unable to do so on the first attempt. “The body has not been delivered so far,” Navalny spokesperson Kira Yarmish wrote in X, while she noted that the schedule remains on track, but warned that “there could be delays.” Later, Yarmish posted another message in which she claimed that the hearse carrying Navalny’s body was already heading to the church.

The Kremlin has warned that those who participate in unauthorized demonstrations during funerals will be punished under the laws in force: “We want to remember that there is a law that must be followed: any unauthorized assembly will constitute a violation of the law,” said the spokesman. of the Russian Presidency, Dmitri Peskov, in his daily press conference. The spokesperson has refused to evaluate Navalni’s figure as a politician or send a message to the opponent’s family.

Among the personalities who have attended the funeral and are awaiting the beginning of the ceremony, is Yevgeny Roizman, former mayor of the city of Yekaterinburg, in the Urals, and the arrival of Boris Nadezhdin, candidate for the Russian Presidency, recently banned, is expected. by the Electoral Commission of this country.

Navalny, an outspoken critic of the Kremlin, died at age 47 in an Arctic penal colony considered one of the harshest prisons in the world on February 16, 2024, after being transferred there in 2023.

After having survived a poisoning attributed to Russian authorities, Navalny returned to Russia in 2021 from his exile in Germany and was arrested upon arrival and then charged and sentenced in 2022 to nine years in prison for “fraud and contempt of Russian courts.” .

Navalny’s close friends and co-religionists directly accuse the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, of ordering what they consider the “murder” of the opponent. Navalny’s family denounced for nine days the authorities’ refusal to hand over the politician’s body after his death and blamed his death directly on the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.