Alexei Navalny funeral – live: Crowd chants anti-Putin slogans as opposition leader is buried in Moscow

Thousands of mourners have bravely defied a heavy riot police presence to pay tribute to Alexei Navalny as he is buried in Moscow.

As his coffin was removed from the hearse and taken inside the church, the crowd waiting outside broke into respectful applause and then chanted: “Navalny! Navalny!” Some also shouted, “You weren’t afraid, neither are we!” and later “No to war!”

Others were heard chanting: “Russia without Putin” and “Russia will be free”.

It comes as Kremlin warned unauthorised gatherings will be broken up with arrests, with allies of the Russian opposition politician fearing a police crackdown two weeks after he suddenly died at the Arctic prison where he was being held. Western leaders have lined up to hold Vladimir Putin responsible.

In an emotional tribute, Navalny’s wife, Yulia Navalnaya thanked her late husband for 26 years of absolute happiness.

She posted on X: “I don’t know how to live without you, but I will try to make you up there happy for me and proud of me. I don’t know if I can handle it or not, but I will try.

“We will definitely meet one day. I have so many untold stories for you, and I have so many songs saved for you on my phone, stupid and funny, in general, to be honest, terrible songs, but they are about us, and I really wanted to let you listen to them laugh, and then hug me. Love you forever. Rest in peace.”

Watch the events live from Moscow on The Independent’s YouTube channel here

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