Defying Kremlin's warnings, thousands unite in final tribute, chanting and applauding for Navalny

The funeral of the outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin unfolded amidst heightened security measures

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Photos from "Soothe My Sorrows" temple, where Alexei Navalny's funeral was held went viral on X on Friday

In the heart of Moscow, thousands converged to bid farewell to Alexei Navalny, defying potential arrests, and exhibiting solidarity with applause and chants as his body was ushered into the church.

The funeral of the outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin, whose passing was disclosed on February 16, unfolded amidst heightened security measures.

A considerable throng patiently waited for hours to access the Soothe My Sorrows church, encountering a brief delay in the release of Navalny's body from the morgue. Upon the arrival of the hearse at the church, the assembled crowd erupted in applause, echoing chants of "Alexei! Alexei!"

As the ceremony commenced, Navalny's foundation unveiled an image of the open casket within the church, evoking a somber atmosphere among mourners who gathered around, adorning his body with red and white flowers. Subsequently, a procession moved from the church to the Borisovskoye cemetery, initiating a burial ceremony just before 1 pm UK time.

A select few supporters gained access to the cemetery, symbolically contributing earth to Navalny's coffin.

Despite the poignant gathering, the Kremlin cautioned against any breach of the law, saying that unauthorised mass gatherings are violations.

The late Navalny's mother, Lyudmila Navalnaya, was captured beside the casket, holding a candle, while his father was also in attendance during the service.

His wife, Yulia Navalnaya, watched the funeral via footage streamed live on her husband's YouTube channel.