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Navalny Allies Planning Public Farewell for Late Activist

A makeshift memorial to Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. Kai Li / unsplash

A public farewell for late Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny will be held later this week, his spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said Monday.

“We’re looking for a hall to hold a public farewell to Alexei. The time is the end of the work week,” Yarmysh wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

She also asked supporters for suggestions for where the event could be held, not specifying whether it would take place in Russia or abroad.

Authorities in Russia’s Far North had refused to hand over Navalny’s body to his mother until this Saturday, more than a week after his death. 

His allies accused the authorities of seeking to avoid mass crowds paying tribute to him ahead of the March 15-17 presidential election, which Vladimir Putin is certain to win.

Navalny died Feb. 16 at the Arctic penal colony where he was serving a 19-year prison sentence on charges widely seen as retribution for his opposition to Putin.

His allies said that authorities issued a death certificate indicating he had died from “natural causes.”

News of Navalny’s death was followed by mass displays of grief across Russia, with people laying flowers at makeshift memorials in dozens of towns and cities.

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